Note – For all American readers, in this article the word football used here means soccer.
Now that we have that cleared,
I don’t know how many of you follow football(I’m an avid fan) and if you’ll know this but something magical is happening in English football. A team regarded as a minnow, Leicester City Football Club is leading the English Premier League table with four games left to play.
This team spent 140 days at the foot of the Premier league table the previous season and just about managed to escape relegation to the lower Championship division. This season though they have made a remarkable turnaround and lead by their charismatic Italian manager Claudio Ranieri have caused the biggest upsets all season in recent Premier League history.
In an age of huge transfer figures, soaring ticket prices and large amounts of money being pumped into football clubs, Leicester are an epitome of defiance to this new age norm of ‘money’ leading to success on the pitch.
Many teams have pumped millions of pounds on new stadiums, new training facilities, new players, new staff and managers and have rightly been accused of ‘buying the title’
including my favourite team Chelsea FC.
However Leicester are doing something absolutely unheard of in leading the Premier League table with close to no investment, something which hasn’t been done by any team of their financial standing.
This weekend they just offcially qualified for the UEFA Champions League which is Europe’s premier competition in which only the best 3-4 teams from each league in Europe get to play. Yes, this minnow of English football will be going up against the mighty Barcelona’s and Real Madrid’s of this world come next season.
They will surely get handsomely rewarded financially with a Champions League qualification in the bag.
For those of you who don’t understand the magnitude of this achievement let me put it this way it’s like a Sunday league baseball team of nobody’s qualifying for the world series against the giants of the game.
Leicester City have in this short span of time showed the world what practice, true grit, team work, a never say die spirit and hard work can get you in this day and age of modern day football where money usually dictates success on the pitch.
Leicesters players – Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki, Danny Drinkwater, N’Golo Kante, Robert Huth, Kasper Schmeichel have broken the shackles of anonymity and established themselves as household names after their inspiring performances on the pitch.
Jamie Vardy in particular who was working in a mill and playing football for a team in the lowest division in England a couple of years ago – now leads the country’s goal scoring charts.
In what is the most unbelievable football fairy tale of the modern Premier League era – with only four games left to play, Leicester rightly deserve to be crowned Champions of England.
What Leicester have achieved in this season is something we should all marvel at and take away lessons from this team. Here are some of the things we can learn from this remarkable story –
Believe In Yourself
Leicester City’s players had the belief in their own abilities to decide that they had what it takes to become Champions. Without this belief (that they could go on and win every game even when going up against the elite) they wouldn’t be where they are today. If you want to achieve success you need to believe in yourself and trust me that is half the job done, the confidence will flow and with the right mindset (that you can be a champion) you can do wonders.
2 . Practice, Practice and Practice
You don’t get to become a champion without putting in hours and hours of practice. Leicester have taught us that with the right mindset and spirit if you put in those required hours of practice into what ever you do – whether it’s a presentation, an exam, an important meeting or a sales pitch – Practice. Work hard.
The more time you spend practicing – the more likely you are to succeed.
Perhaps, the most paramount to achieving success in football is teamwork. Without working together as a team, Leicester would have got nowhere if they hadn’t worked worked so well together. The alchemy in their play, the willingness to give everything for their team mates and function as a solid unit together attacking and defending is what has made this team a success. So wherever you are in your professional life always find a way to work better in a team and achieve success with the help of your team mates.
4. Positive Reaction to Failure is a key to success
Leicester city were bottom of the league exactly one year ago – they had failed- they disappointed their fans, their manager, their board and barely escaped relegation from the first division. But one year on and they are leading the pack – their response to the failure of the previous season was unbelievable they showed true grit and belief to achieve this magnificent turnaround. How you respond to failure
is a key element to becoming successful, if you can turn your life around bravely after a failure in the same way Leicester did – you can achieve all that you dream.
Instead of taking failure negatively, if you can see the positives in it and believe in a turn around anything is possible.
5. Trust your superiors
In the same way Leicester put blind faith in their new manager Claudio Ranieri, you must put the same trust in your superiors – whether parents,bosses, elders etc. They want you to succeed and trusting them is extremely important if you want to achieve your goal. If Leicester City’s players did not have faith in their manager they wouldn’t be leading the league currently. Trust your superiors to show you the way to success – If you don’t have a mentor get one. It’ll help.
6. Perform when required
Without their performance on the pitch on game days, Leicester wouldn’t be able to beat some of the best teams in England and result in topping the charts. Always perform when you are supposed to -show up on big days when it’s required with belief in your ability and you are bound to succeed. Perform to your best ability when you are required to and you will be one step closer to achieving all your goals.
7. Never Give Up
There were games when Leicester City were a goal or a couple of goals down against some of the better teams in the league but Leicester dug deep and made a come back in all those games. Moral of the story – Never give up. If you are experiencing difficulty, if the odds are stacked against you or if you are down and out like Leicester were last season – never ever give up. Do what it takes to make a come back and dig deep when you have to – Success is yours if you just persevere.
8. Never Stop Dreaming
Leicester believed they could be champions even when every body had written them off and tipped them for relegation when the season started. They did not let the superior financial status and quality of their competition interfere with their dream of becoming champions. They believed it was possible for them to win against every team and lead the table. They did not let other’s perception of them change what they believed in – To become champions of England.
These are little gems we can take away from this unimaginable story. A story that has
inspired a little city in England and captivated the imagination of the world – Defying all odds, trumping all logic and going against some real heavyweights of the English game, Leicester have proved time and time again in awe inspiring fashion that there is still hope for all those who dream.
They have won the hearts of every football fan in the world and have shown in arguably
the toughest league of all that a small club from a small city can go on and win it without the millions being spent.
I for one am eagerly awaiting the final day of the season when they lift the trophy and show the world that the under dog has indeed become a victor.
I hope and pray that they do not falter after such an amazing run this season and end up as deserved champions also I hope they can build on this the next season.
Have a great week everybody.