Inspiration Report

As the world watched the World Cup Opening Ceremony and rejoiced at the start of World Cup 2010, we looked through a beautiful book called A Beautiful Game: The World’s Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives by Tom Watt, just out from HarperCollins.


Beautiful Game hc c.JPGThe author gathered some of the most notable “footballers” to celebrate their beloved game just in time for World Cup 2010.  See photos from the World Cup Opening Ceremony. See the inspiring quotes from soccer players from around the world below, courtesy of A Beautiful Game.


“The World Cup in 2010 is going to be the most inspirational thing ever to hit the streets in South Africa. For the first time, the World Cup won’t just be  something that is happening on the other side of the world …think about the excitement–the biggest players, from all over the world, will be playing football in a stadium just round the corner from home.” – Benni McCarthy (South Africa)


“Manchester, Madrid, Los Angeles or Freetown… football’s a game people love everywhere you go…Every dressing room [is] full of players from different countries, different continents, But, even though you may not speak the same language as your teammate–and you may have been brought up in completely different backgrounds–when you’re playing football together you understand each other perfectly.” – David Beckham (U.K.)

“More than anything, I love playing football. And it’s been like that since I was very young. I enjoy playing: it’s not something that feels like a job. It still feels like fun, like it did when I was a very small boy.” – Lionel Messi (Argentina)

“When I talk to children back in Japan now, I say things to them that [my coach] said to me: ‘Don’t just do your best and stop; keep doing your best, keep pushing yourself. That’s what makes it possible to realize a dream.'” – Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan)

“Football has given me so much, has enabled me to do so much. So how can I help? That’s what gives a meaning to my life.” – Ulises de la Cruz (Ecuador)

“We could not always get three meals in a day; sometimes we’d struggle. But we always had soccer…It’s something that pulls the whole country together; something that can bring peace and unity to Nigeria.” – Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria)

I have learnt so many things from football…I don’t just mean that I learnt the rules of the game…if you want to win, even if it’s just a little game in the street, you must have discipline; you need to have your tactics, a plan; and you have to have respect for other people.” – Gilberto Silva (Brazil)

“I had my heroes, and now, I guess, I am a hero for some of the young boys playing football in Zimbabwe. And I know it’s important for me to lead by example.” – Benjani Mwaruwari (Zimbabwe)

“You show people what you’re like as a player when you’re out on the field. You show people what you’re like as a person the rest of the time.” – Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala)

“You play football and you make friends, even when you’re really young. If you both respect the game, you don’t even need to speak the same language to play football together.” – Robin van Persie (Netherlands)


From A BEAUTIFUL GAME by Tom Watt. Copyright C 2009 by Tom Watt. Text reprinted by permission of HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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