I love sports. Of all, soccer is a delight to watch. Aside the pomp and ceremony it is characterized with it, it's always a case study for talent versus hard work which the latter always wins.
Yes, I’m an FC Barcelona fan! Watching them play is like observing the beauty of nature. However, I know very well that if you fix a business meeting @ 7:45pm Champions League time thinking I wouldn’t make it, I would shock you and show up at 7pm. I understand those guys are doing their job on the pitch and I could always press the replay button to watch the match latter because I’ve also got a list of people I wouldn’t want to let down because they also believe in me, and hope to see me win.
One of the fringe benefits of being an FC Barcelona fan is that even when they're losing, you enjoy beautiful football. When they win, they make winning so easy you forget the hard work behind the scene.
FC Barcelona are the new champions of Europe’s 2014|2015 season, hence their success formula is now Best Practice. And the birth of a new football TRINITY of Messi, Neymar and Suarez have given bookmakers so much to ponder on the beauty of Talent.
Quite remarkable too is a shrewd management of the Barca trinity orchestrated by the coach, Luis Enrique. They're three amazing football strikers whose success on and off the pitch could be traced to the success of FC Barcelona: a case study for their success.
The Football Trinity (Messi, Neymar Suarez)
Lionel Messi did not score in the Champions League final against Italian giants Juventus to topple his record and be the all time highest goal scorer in the Champions League, but how come the name on the lips of the lovers of the game after the match was Messi? Fans variously attributed the success of Barca in that UCL final to the heroics of Messi!
Messi is a Level 5 leader (according to Jim Collins). His leadership skills on and off the pitch has earned him this status. One feauture of a Level 5 leader is that he thinks more about the success of Barcelona than his personal success. There have been several times Messi put his team first. One of the recent instances which still stick for me was during one of the league matches when he scored a brace and his team earned a penalty.
There and then, he had the chance to topple his goal tally record. Quess what he did: Messi let his teammate Neymar take the spot kick. At that stage, I concluded such selfless mindset makes him great!
Prior to the Champions League final, everyone knew it was all about if Messi was coming to the party. However, when the spotlight beamed on him, he decided to shift it to Neymar and Suarez.
Going into to the UCL final , Messi was the only one , among the Barca terrrific trinity, who had played in the UEFA champions League finals. He understood the feelings and gave them the stage mind. The goals were all linked to his passes.
Lesson: The best of leaders don’t absorb the shine on the spotlight, rather they put their team first.
FC Barca go down in history as the second club to have won a treble twice in Europe. Their first was in 2009 under the leadership of PEP Guardiola, their second being the 2014 2015 season where they won the Spanish league Cup, Copa del Rey and the Champions League. For a team whose style of playing football two seasons ago was heavily criticized by the media as being outdated and having lost its taste especially after losing scandalously on May 1st 2013: 7-0 to Bayern Munich two seasons ago, one must give them kudos for taking it all in and coming back stronger, as well as beating all their rivals on their journey to success: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid,in the Spanish League and Bayern Munich in the champions league. With the avalanche of goals scored by this three, you must give it to them.
The “Football Trinity” was in the forefront of the Barca striking force, but behind was a team of hard-working talents. The difference between talent and hard work is that the very hard-working would always outrun the talented in his craft because with hard work comes determination and discipline: talent alone has never been enough.
The Barca team was made up of a Xavi Hernandez who started playing for Barca as a boy and who was bowing out at the end of the Champions League final, an Andres Iniesta, @just 30 (I used to think he and Xavi are in the same age range), who marshals the midfield, the defense of Pique, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves who even as defenders, still get attracted to the opponents' goalposts and make you question if they really are defenders! Then there is the new kid on the block, goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter, Sergio Busquet, Pedro Rodrigues, Ivan Rakitic – the first goal scorer in the final against Juventus, and their Coach Louis Enrique who manages these talents and their egos at most times. Enrique must have strong humans management skills inside the dressing room, to control these talents.
I’m beginning to feel Pep Guardiola who played alongside Enrique is of a golden generation. They are the winners, and their names came off as the champions. The power of their oneness is enviable. In the end, their success wasn’t all about the Football Trinity. They made the acronym, 'TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.'
Suarez got some months of football ban during the 2014 World Cup and had a dark cloud over his football career. in the heat of the ban, the Barca Management saw beyond his flaws. They bought him from Liverpool, and now they have brought out the best in him. See a man as he should be, and most times he would amaze you. See him as he is and you do yourself and the man no good because he remains that way. Kudos to the management of Barca.
Neymar’s transfer was among other issues why FC Barca wouldn’t be going to the transfer market until the next season. Today Neymar has turned out one of their best investments. In the transfer market, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and learn.
Do you envy the success of winners, do you have a TRINITY on your team? Have you been scandalously beaten in the past and heavily criticized for not being at par to people’s expectations, Take it all in and keep beating on your craft. Today we celebrate Barca, tomorrow we could be celebrating you.
–From Charles Umeh, a personal development Coach, project management advocate and member of the global body of Project Managers. Author of African Book Project “Breaking the Coconut", focused on inspiring change through influence. @charismacharles
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