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passion

Passion is key to success in Life

Passion defined

Passion is a strong emotion or enthusiasm for something. Passion is stronger than love and can sometimes be so overwhelming. It is what keeps you going when all things around you seem to be falling apart.

At a concert held in 2008, a young professional singer came on stage and sang a popular song to the admiration of everyone. The entire audience stood up and clapped after her rendition. She had an amazing voice and her rendition was wow!

As she walked off the podium, an old man walked up to the stage and asked the concert organizers for a special favor. He wanted to sing a song. There was a brief hesitation, and finally, he was allowed to sing.

The old man climbed the podium and sang the same song the lady sang. There was pin-drop silence in the 5,000 capacity concert hall. The song resonated with the packed audience. In the end, there were tears in the eyes of everyone in the hall.

The difference between both performances was passion. The lady came to deliver professional performance. She was paid to sing. The old man sang from the heart. He had a deep desire, that transcended beyond just money. Music was a way of life for him.

Passion kept him going when things were tough

Vincent Kompany was an extraordinary footballer. The former captain of Manchester City and the red devils of Belgium had some beautiful moments. He also had some bad moments in his career, as he battled constantly with injuries.

Kompany’s amazing career at City was disrupted by more than 30 injury setbacks. Calf, Shin damage, muscle, groin, hamstring, and abductors injuries were always plaguing the big center-back. He never gave in to these injury setbacks, but always worked his way back to the team after each setback.

The desire for the game made him stronger each time he fell to injury setback. His raw passion to see City succeed made him endure pain in matches where he wasn’t expected to feature. He played through the pain barrier.

In his last season at City, Kompany scored an amazing goal against Leicester. It was a crucial goal that helped City win the EPL title and inked his name in City’s history books. His passion when he scored that long-range effort was lovely to behold. It was almost overwhelming seeing the happiness in his face as he ran the entire field to celebrate with City fans.

When others had given up hope on the big Belgian, he held on tenaciously to the game he loved. It was an excited and passionate Vincent Kompany that lifted the EPL trophy on the 12th of May 2019 after trumping Brighton 4-1 at the Amex Stadium to clinch the title for the fourth time.

The journey is not always smooth, but passion will always lift your heart

In the journey of life, there would be moments of pain and heartache. There would be betrayals from those you love when they don’t support your dreams in life. The temptation to abandon that which you love may appear so strong, but passion will always lift your spirit.

When you are passionate about what you do, nothing else matters. Discouragement from those who you hold so dear cant stop you. Negative comments from haters can’t stop an individual who is passionate about succeeding in life. You alone, hold the key.

The journey may be rough. The road may appear bumpy. The beautiful moments may not be visible, but when you are passionate about what you’re doing, that’s all that matters.

failure

Failure is part of the success story

Failure is the opposite of success. It is the inability to achieve a certain goal or objective in life. The painful thing about failure is that it tends to weigh down the individual, especially those who had a realistic expectation about the possibility of achieving greatness.

On 1st February 2016, Manchester City signed Pep Guardiola to a 3 years contract. It was the biggest signing of the club’s entire history, as Pep Guardiola is regarded as the best tactician in the round leather game.

The expectation from fans was high. The possibility of winning laurels became increasingly possible, as the new man in charge was known to have won loads of trophies while with Bayern Munchen of Germany and Barcelona of Spain.

Unfortunately, things never went the way of Manchester City, as they failed to win a single trophy in Pep’s first reign in charge as manager. The team came 3rd in the Premier League. They were knocked out in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup, by Arsenal 2-1 after extra time.

They could not defend the EFL trophy they won in the 2015/16 football season, as they were knocked out in the 4th round by Manchester United 1-0. It was a very sad moment in the club history as all their expectations were being met with failure.

The UEFA Champions League provided a ray of hope for supporters of Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola had previously won it with Barcelona. They however exited the tournament in the round of 16, as they got knocked out of the competition by the French team Monaco.

Pep’s first season was seen as a failure and the pain was obvious. It was disappointing, as the club went through the entire 2016/17 season with a taste of any trophy. That never slowed down the hunger for success among the players and the new manager.

The 2017/18 season saw the real hunger for success in Manchester City. Failure in the previous season had seen a huge appetite for success in the team. The burning desire is always there, each time we fail in life.

Manchester City emerged Champions of the English Premier League with an unprecedented 100 points from 38 matches. An amazing tally of 106 goals made it even sweeter. They won the EFL Cup, beating Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley.

The 2018/19 season was even better, as Manchester City won all three domestic trophies they entered for, including the community shield. They became the first team to ever hold all four of England’s primary football trophies.

Failure had indeed made the team stronger. It was a beautiful example of how we can learn more from failure than we can ever do from success. We can become inspired to do more when we fail in certain aspects of life.

It all starts from the inside. Never get so discouraged when things don’t go your way. Its all part of the success story. Good things sometimes take time. They don’t always come on the platter of Gold.

win

It is not over until you win

Life is like a football match. We win some, we lose some. The beautiful thing about football is that it gives players an amazing opportunity to correct their mistakes. It is a 90 minutes game, where there is provision for extra time.

I have seen teams that started so badly but ended up winning even in extra time. It is a game where a few seconds can determine the outcome of a game. It is rare to see football players giving up on a game. They keep chasing and fighting until the referee blows the final whistle.

I watched a local football match at a school playing ground. As I sat down, I asked one of the boys what the score was. With a smile, he replied; “They are leading us 3-0”

And to be honest, he never looked like someone who was discouraged with the score. I asked him why he didn’t sound discouraged?  “Discouraged?” the boy asked with a puzzled look.

Why should I be discouraged when the referee has not blown the final whistle. I have confidence in the team and our manager; we shall win this game. it was one of the most inspiring words I heard from such a young boy. He should be around 14 or 15 years.

Truly, the match ended 5-4 in favor of the boy’s team. He waved at me gently, with a beautiful smile as he left; I was amazed, mouth wide open; Such confidence; Such awesome positivity. It was a turning point in my view about life.

As I got back home that night, his question kept coming back to me – “Why should I be discouraged when the referee has not blown the final whistle”

Life is like a football game. Why be discouraged, when there is still life. Why should I be discouraged when the final whistle has not sounded?

The truth is that many people blow the final whistle themselves. The desire to win isn’t there. They are defeated, even before the referee blows the whistle for the game to commence.

But as long as there is life, nothing is impossible and it is never too late for you.

Half time is not full time. There are still 45 minutes left, and games have been won in 10 seconds, left of extra time. On the 13th of May 2012, Manchester City made history when they won the Premier League title for the first time in their history.

It was a game where everyone expected them to win against Queens Park Rangers. Pablo Zabaleta gave City an early lead in the first half, and everyone was already in celebration mood at the Etihad. Unfortunately, Djibril Cisse of QPR capitalized on an error by defender Joleon Lescot to equalize for QPR.

Things turned from bad to worse when Jamie Mackie headed QPR into a 2-1 lead with time running out. With the game going into extra time, Manchester United had already defeated Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and was poised to be crowned champions.

It was a nervous time for fans who were watching in shock as the title was slipping away from the grasp of Manchester City. Five minutes of extra time and City had a corner kick quickly taken by David Silva. Edin Dzeko rose highest to head in the equalizer.

Two minutes before the extra time was up, Mario Balotelli stumbled in the QPR penalty area, but still managed to make a pass to Sergio Aguero. The City talisman did the incredible and scored the winner.

It was a lesson I had come to learn. Life gives us opportunities even when all hope seems lost. As individuals,  we must never give up until we win. Don’t blow the final whistle yourself.

Manchester City

Manchester city vs Arsenal match preview

Manchester city kick start their football season which was temporary stopped due to covid-19, this Wednesday. It is an enticing clash with Arsenal who are presently been managed by former Manchester City assistant Coach, Mikel Arteta.

If previous results is anything to go by, Manchester City are poised to grab all 3 points in a campaign that has not seen the best of the city boys. Arsenal current records away from home doesn’t help boost their chances. Manchester City still trailing liverpool by a massive 25 points, have a lot of catching up to do. it’s just a question of wrapping up the 2nd position and ensuring a decent finish to the season.

One thing that would delight Pep Guardiola as Arsenal comes calling, is the availability of all squad players for selection. Leroy Sane, whose future is still hanging in the balance has recovered from the injury that has kept him from the side all season. Defender, Aymeric Larporte and Benjamin Mendy are also confirmed fit.

For Arsenal, they would be at full strength as most of their injured players are rearing to go. The only long term absentee would be defender Calum chambers.
Considering the new rules of allowing 5 substitutes per match, we are likely to see a packed bench from both sides,even as fans would not be allowed at the Etihad.

Manchester City possible line up

Ederson Moraes
Aymeric Larporte
Fernandinho
Mendy
Kyle Walker
Rodri
De Bruyne
Mahrez
Sterling
Bernardo
Aguero

Substitutes

Bravo
Gundogan
Sane
David Silva
Phil Foden
Otamendi
John Stones
Zinchenko
Gabriel Jesus
Eric Garcia

Arsenal possible line up

Leno; Bellerin, Mari, Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Substitutes

Emiliano Martinez
Sokratis
Kolasinac
Saka
Torreira
Guendouzi
Martinelli
Reiss Nelson
Maitland Niles
Joe Willock
Mustafi

Aneke Courage

Aneke Courage- I admire Kevin De Bruyne and would Love to Play like him

These were the exact words of 18 years old Aneke Courage Chikasiemobi, an attacking midfielder who is on trial with FC Centaur, Russia. The enterprising midfielder who was born in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, has always had the dream of being a footballer from childhood. He started playing while he was 10 and has never stopped loving the round leather game.

Humble beginning

“My parents never supported me in the early stage of my football career. I was beaten several times for coming home late from training and for choosing football rather than academics. It was tough back then”. This is a familiar story with most players back in Africa. The awareness has however changed over the last couple of years, as more parents are now encouraging their kids to pursue their dreams.

Cassi, as he is fondly called, started his footballing journey with Dynamos FC of Enugu, Nigeria, before switching over to Star Plus FC Enugu, Nigeria. The 5 ft 7 in tall midfield maestro who had shared his experience of struggling to find a sponsor to help him pursue his football dreams also had challenges with injuries.

Why football?

Cassi confessed that he had always had a love for the game while growing up. “My desire had always been to get paid for playing the game I love so much. Football gives me Joy and I catch so much fun playing it”

Aneke Courage who can play anywhere in attack except in the left-wing expressed his admiration for Manchester City Attacking Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. “Kevin De Bruyne is one player I look up to and I hope to play like him someday.

Move to Russia

The dream of every football player is to become a professional and move a step higher in his football career. It wasn’t different for Courage Aneke, who had always nursed the ambition of moving his career a step higher. That dream became a reality early this year January when he stumbled on an Instagram post about FC Centaur. He immediately made contact with them and was sent an invitation to come for trial with the Russian 4th Division side. The club which was founded on April 16th, 2009 is the largest private Club in Russia.

When asked about adapting to life in Russia, Aneke Courage was honest about his experience. Hear what he said: “Adapting to life in Russia wasn’t easy. It was tough, battling with the cold and the language, but I am learning the language gradually and am getting used to training in the cold”. The coaches usually train us using the Russian language. Luckily for me, some of my teammates can speak English and Russia fluently. He has so far played 22 games, scored 6 goals and provided 9 assists for the Moscow based team.

Standard of the Russian League

According to Aneke Courage whose favorite team is Borussia Dortmund of Germany, The standard of the Russian League is not too high compared to the Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, and the Italian Serie A. The major reason for the low standard of the League is because the majority of the players in almost all the teams are homegrown players. Foreign nationals are not given much opportunity in the Russian League.

Racism in Russia

Russia has always been in the news when it comes to the issue of racism in sports, especially in football. In 2011, fans of Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow displayed a banner. It was about Nigerian striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie featuring a banana saying ‘Thank you, West Bromwich Albion after the player left to join West Bromwich Albion. Aneke Courage confirmed he had not experienced any form of racism since he’s been on trial with FC Centaur. He however mentioned the attitude of match referees who often made calls against blacks on the field of play.

Aspirations

Aneke Courage who loves listening to music and also praying before crucial games, already has his mind fixed on his next move. “My dream is to move to a professional side in Denmark next year. I believe that with Hard Work, whatsoever you want to achieve in life is possible. Believe in yourself and remember nothing is impossible with God”. When asked if his parents have changed their mind as regards supporting his footballing career? He smiled and answered: “ They support me 100%”.

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