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Never give up on your dreams

Sometimes you see things that your brain struggles to compute and you need a moment or two to reassure yourself that you are not in a parallel universe. For me this happened twice this week while watching football. I realise there will be plenty of people reading this who do not care for ‘the beautiful game’ but even the most ardent opponents were drawn into the drama this week. Whether it was Tottenham overturning a three-goal deficit with four seconds to spare, or Liverpool beating the mighty Barcelona 4 – 0, the spectacle of the support and commitment towards a huge and unlikely challenge went beyond sport. After Liverpool’s fourth goal, Mrs Jones and I hugged – in silence of course so as not to wake the children with my screams of delight (at the football, not the hug) – such was the unpredictability of the drama that was unfolding.

 

Jurgen Klopp, the manager, summed it up best when he said, ‘There are more important things in the world. But creating this emotional atmosphere together is so special.’ And that was the key. What I enjoyed most, probably more than the game itself, was the togetherness afterwards, of the players, the management, the fans and the commentators. When things like this happen, whether it is a sporting occasion, or a mesmerising recital or production, the sense of sharing the spectacle is palpable and uplifting. And in football at the moment there is a group of managers who are so positive with and about their players that it is a joy to see. If everyone heard the words of Jurgen Klopp in their ears each day, I am sure work production would triple. In the changing rooms before the game on Tuesday, he told his team about the task ahead, ‘I think it is impossible. But, because it is you, we have a chance.’ A simple line but delivered with so much trust and calming reassurance; and it was all he needed to say to inspire them into a thrilling performance. That, and the message on Mo Salah’s t-shirt that was clear for all to see: Never Give Up!

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