The great game of soccer has brought its fair share of legends to the field, many of whom offer inspiring words to live by. For sports enthusiasts and beyond, here are four soccer quotes to reflect on as you go about your day.
“It is better to win ten times 1-0 than to win once 10-0.” Many regard Vahid Halilhodžić as one of the greatest Yugoslav players of the 1970s and ’80s. He earned 15 full international caps for then-Yugoslavia, played at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and now is the head coach of the Morocco national team. Halilhodžić reminds us that dependability is key in all walks of life. A blow-out success has little value if success itself is anomalous. Instead, he argues, it is better to succeed with consistency, even if the margins are small.
“A champion is someone who does not settle for that day’s practice, that day’s competition, that day’s performance. They are always striving to be better. They don’t live in the past.” The great Briana Scurry was the starting goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team for the 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Cups, as well as for the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympics. She made 173 international appearances, and was the first female goalkeeper and first Black woman to enter the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Though her credentials are highly impressive, her words stress that a champion could be hiding in any one of us. The most important prerequisite is never giving up, and not allowing our past mistakes to constrain us.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” Superstar Edson Arantes “Pelé” do Nascimento is widely heralded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He averaged nearly a goal per game throughout his career, and, in 1999, the International Olympic Committee named him athlete of the century. Throughout it all, he never lost sight of what he considered most important: loving what you do, and loving the process of doing it. To all perfectionists out there, it’s worth keeping this detail in mind.
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