I love watching International Soccer, especially any US game and the major international tournaments. So this past month has been amazing for me being able to watch the 2016 European Championship, culminating with the final match on Sunday between France and Portugal.
One of the top few players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, was seeking Portugal's first major international championship in what will be considered in the end one of the greatest individual club careers of all time. The only knock against Ronaldo, other than some calling him a pretty boy and a habitual complainer to the referees, was that he had not been able to lead Portugal to that major title. After having the opportunity in Portugal's capital of Lisbon against heavy underdog Greece in the 2004 Euro final, Portugal was upset in what many thought would be their best chance to bring home a title. Sunday was the Portuguese captain's chance to vindicate their 2004 loss.
Unfortunately, after just 25 minutes of play, Ronaldo was forced to do something he had done so few times in his career: leave the field due to injury. He suffered a knee injury several minutes earlier when French defender Payet won the ball with a firm tackle that went through Ronaldo's right knee. After several attempts to come back onto the field, Ronaldo could no longer deny the inevitable: his night, and his chance to lead his country to its first major victory, was over.
Ronaldo was overcome with emotion, his unquestionable passion for the game and relentless desire to win for his country bringing him to uncontrollable tears. As I watched Ronaldo agonizing over these unfortunate circumstances, I could not help but tear up with him.
Yes, guys will call me "soft", and girls might call me "weird", but visible passion and emotion is absolutely moving for me. Seeing that relentless passion, leadership, and achievement in others that only comes with incredible hard work and sacrifice, is what drives me more than anything else. That is one of the main reasons I started this company with Joseph- to empower students to find this level of passion within themselves and pursue it with everything they have.
For me, this inspiration is more prevalent through sports than anything else. As an actual athlete through high school, and self-proclaimed athlete for life =), sports always get me. So seeing Ronaldo, one of the hardest-working, most deserving players miss his chance at the final due to uncontrollable circumstances and brought to tears, got me.
Not caring too much who won before the match, after the injury I couldn't help but root for Portugal. Ronaldo's leadership and performance up until that point had put them in this position, and the courage and confidence Portugal showed without their captain on the field was awesome to watch. In extra time, Portugal's Eder put home the amazing winning goal that provided their country with its first ever major tournament victory. Very deserving for Ronaldo and a Portuguese nation with a rich soccer history.
Legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano (known as Jimmy V) said it best in his Arthur Ashe Award Acceptance Speech recognizing his illustrious career and his inspirational battle against cancer: "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
Think about that: how often do you have all three happen to you in a day? Crying does not mean you should always be crying due to sadness- it implies that you care enough about something to cry, happy or sad tears. It implies that you have a deep love, passion, and investment into something or someone.
- When is the last time you cried tears of passion? What was the trigger?
- What are you passionate enough about in your life that would make you cry? How often are you putting yourself out there to experience these ultimate levels of emotion?
Make it a goal to laugh, think, and cry often.
What did you think of this post? What brings you to tears of passion? Let us know in the comments!
Want to read another post about an amazing sports performance? Check out our post on the greatest comeback in the history of college basketball!