I don’t usually watch sporting events in bars. Or change my schedule to catch a game. But there is something about the World Cup. The idea that the country you live in or the country of your roots is vying to win a World title in a game that is played around the globe by every age group. A game that only needs a ball, a net and some grit.
Cars honked and flags waved in streets around the world. People gathered and cheered and gasped and clapped and cried.
Croatia, a country of just over 4 million, stole our hearts by ending up at the final game. Although they earned the silver in the end, their tenacity and resilience inspired us all.
They were behind in the three games leading up to the final and still came back to win. There was overtime and penalty shots. But they never gave up. They often had higher possession percentages than their opponents, even in the final.
They showed us that anything is possible if you believe.
They didn’t listen to people who said that the bigger countries would have more players to choose from and more budget for training. That other teams had much younger players. They just stayed in their lane and played their game.
How many times do we compare ourselves to others to the detriment of our own journey? As American President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So practice, work hard, get up from every fall, and know that dreams can come true if you have the perseverance and dedication to keep playing no matter what happens.