In May 2008, I was in the King’s College Lagos Annex Premises writing my WAEC Exams. The 2008 Champions League Final met me in school and I had to settle for watching the match from the window of a House Master, since I wasn’t very good at scaling fences (I still am not)L! I remember the C Ronaldo header and the subsequent Lampard equalizer! But the moment that remains fresh in my memory was the penalty kick Terry Lost. It was one of those moments where you prepare for the worst, and you do the whole “reverse psychology” thing, but the hurt still manages to reach the deepest depth of your heart and inflict such pain, that you would still remember how it felt 4 years on L. The jeers from friends didn’t make it settle any better. The saddest part of it is the imagination of what would have been if he didn’t lose it, the “if only” thoughts. Situations like that make destiny seem like a …..well let’s not dwell too much on the past now eh?? 😀 🙂 …but if only I knew Gods plan, if only..
Fast forward to 4 years on, and I’m in Osogbo concluding my final semester. This time, I didn’t have to sit outside a window :D. I entered the common room with “half mind”, trying to do the whole reverse psychology thing again, but when the match started, it was hard to sit on the fence I tell ya, cos the tempo was friggin’ high! Fast forward again to the Penalty shootout, and as I watched Mata lose his penalty, a familiar feeling began to creep in, but when Drogba scored, it was a whole new feeling, like the very opposite of the way 2008 felt! It was epic; I don’t think any Chelsea faithful can describe it well enough. It was like God was paying me back for ’08 in the best possible manner. But it wasn’t only about the victory! I was reminded of 3 life lessons that are quite easy to forget, by watching that match. They are as follows:
Taking Chances: This is really what life is about, making opportunities count! Many people felt Bayern shoulda won yesternight, and they were somewhat cheated by fate, but in football, a team is only as good as the number of chances they convert into goals. I mean, that is the objective of the game right?? Definitely Bayern played better, and they put a lot of heart in, but in the end, who gets the glory?? CHELSEA!!! And who gets remembered in history?? CHELSEA!!! And how else did Chelsea achieve this? They made their few chances count! They got one corner kick, and that was enough! So when you find yourself in a position to do something wonderful, it’s better to calm down and make that opportunity count. Don’t be wasteful, you won’t be remembered for how wasteful you were; you would only be remembered for that one chance that you took!
The Audacity of Hope: It’ll be hard for any Chelsea fan to forget this season. Look at where Chelsea came from! We were 5th in the league, had just played a draw with Birmingham in the FA Cup, and were trailing by 2 goals in the 1st leg of the competition we just won. I don’t think even TB Joshua coulda predicted this outcome. If his “source” had told him that Chelsea would win a double, he probably would have laughed so hard he would become a laughing gas balloon! But that one thing called hope, the belief that things can still happen, things can still change, the fighting spirit to keep forging ahead…it’s a beautiful thing really! Sometimes that belief, that motivation is the one thing we need in our lives to achieve something we would never forget. Sometimes that motivation may come from the most unlikely source, but when it comes, it’s enough to take you places! I know this may be cliché, but wherever you are now, whatever you are going through, keep hope alive!
Defying the odds: To be honest, when Di Matteo came on as interim coach I never gave him the benefit of the doubt. My prediction was that he would just go on with the status quo, and try to do a little tidying up. In my opinion, he was a mediocre coach, that couldn’t really go far. But he proved me wrong, and he proved so many people wrong too. And sincerely, I’m not sure there is a better feeling than that, defying the odds to be successful. When people don’t expect much from you, it’s natural to feel a little “under” initially. But it would be a big mistake if you let this “under feeling” get the better of you. You should instead let their disbelief in your abilities be a source of motivation to succeed. Strive hard to prove them wrong, and then when you do, enjoy the look on their faces!!
So that’s what I learnt, sorry Tottenham fans, maybe it is for the better actually. To all Chelsea fans, enjoy the week, VIVA CHELSEA!!