By ‘Femi Asu
What a night for Chelsea!
Last night, Chelsea took down the mighty Barcelona. It was indeed a night of glory for them; it was a night in which fans and foes of the club celebrated their (Chelsea) heroics; a night in which the underdogs defeated the defending champions.
It will be remembered as one of the greatest nights in European history – a memorable night of European soccer. Chelsea’s incredible win remains a talking point all over the world. Everywhere I have been today, I heard Nigerians still chanting “Up Chelsea!” and talking about it.
The eagerly awaited match was spilt over with drama and incident and intrigues. Chelsea entered with all of the momentum and gusto they could muster, but Barcelona pushed to assert their dominance. The action came fast and furious as Barcelona exploded for a 2 – 0 lead, and the match quickly looked all but over.
In fact, not a few people would have felt disappointed and given up on Chelsea for falling behind early. Painfully, they lost their captain, John Terrry, to a red card part way through the first half. There seemed to be no hope for them at that point. The odds were stacked against them.
Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world. – Jane Addams
Not for the Chelsea squad, they were resilient and remained resolute on the pitch. They knew it was not over until the final whistle is blown. They did not allow the challenge of having to play with one man down – since Terrry was sent off – to impact negatively on their performance. Instead, they redoubled their efforts and defy the odds. They played without fear.
At last, their determination, courage and commitment paid off. Moments before the end of the first half, they scored a wonderful goal. That must have given them more hope and momentum to carry into the locker room, and then the second half.
But the second half was no less challenging for them as Barcelona controlled the tempo, with impressive tiki-taka, as it is called in Spanish, but they did not do anything with it. Barcelona came on strong at the end, but somehow, someway the Blues did not break.
They emerged victorious in spite of Barca’s much-vaunted attacking fire. They were able to weather the Barca storm and emerged victorious as Fernando Torres found the net in the 90th minute to tie the match at two – putting them into the Champions League final. And the brave Blues enjoyed that night of glory.
Now, the Blues, the so-called underdogs, are advancing to their second ever Champions League final.
Hope is the heart of life. Courage is the blood it pumps out. When hope sags and cannot longer pump out courage, life ends.
Hey friend, stop judging your end by your beginning or by how challenging what you are going through now is. Even if you had a poor showing at the beginning, don’t despair. Even if the odds are stacked against you and it appears the whole world is against you (as it appeared the referee was a Barca fan last night), don’t give up.
Chelsea had a poor showing at the beginning of the match, but their end was a glorious one. They were determined despite the hurdles they faced. They saw hope in the horizon. They refocused and reinforced their strategy and commitment. They rose up to the challenges.
Chelsea players remind me of what Adeleke Adeite said in his poem published yesterday, “Champions or Chickens?” (check it out in our recent posts) : “Champions get charged by challenges/Chickens get chained by it.” To be sure, they proved their championship.
Are you going through a tough time and it seems you are down and out? Take your cue from those Chelsea players. It’s not over until you win that contest, until you achieve that goal…Don’t be discouraged; dare to strive more towards your goal. Defy the odds…and do the impossible – soaring high.
Ultimately, the world will celebrate you, chanting “Up ………!” (Use the comment box below to fill the gap with your name if you believe the world will celebrate you).
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To Our Outstanding Reign,
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