Inspiration can come in many forms. You can inspire people to better themselves, you can inspire people to resolve a conflict and you can inspire people just by doing what you do best. There are many figures within football who are inspirational in these regards and we’re taking a look at five of the most inspirational ones in no particular order.
With the duopoly of La Liga with Real Madrid and Barcelona winning most of the honors, Diego Simeone came in as manager of Atletico and completely transformed the club.
With his aggressive and passionate style instilled in his players, embodying the work ethic of the working class man, the Argentine did the unthinkable as he guided Los Colchoneros to the league title in 2014 and even reached the Champions League final.
It’s also poetically ironic how a few years ago, Real Madrid kept beating Atletico with their fans holding a sign, stating that they wanted a rival. As it stands at the time of writing, Real Madrid have only beaten Atletico once in their last eight encounters.
Atletico have also won at least one trophy in every season Simeone has managed the club since he joined in December 2011 – quite an inspirational feat.
This Barcelona superstar proved that size doesn’t matter. A few years ago, many would have laughed if you said small players could succeed in the sport of football but Xavi was one of the few players to destroy that myth and to great effect.
Not only will he go down as one of the greatest Barcelona players of all time but he is probably the best Spaniard of all time, given his contributions to La Roja over the years.
Truly a once in a lifetime midfielder is Xavi Hernandez.
Jorge Luis Pinto probably pulled off a bigger shock than when Germany beat Brazil 7-1.
The Colombian manager guided Central American minnows Costa Rica to a sensational quarterfinal finish in the 2014 World Cup.
What’s even more remarkable is the group they were initially in. Paired alongside England, Uruguay and Italy, many would have bet their mortgage that El Ticos would finish bottom in the group but remarkably, Pinto guided them to top their group.
Through hard work and team spirit, Costa Rica eventually bowed out to Holland on penalties in the quarterfinals which is nothing to be ashamed of.
And in the process, Pinto must have inspired dozens of other managers who now believe they can upset the odds in huge tournaments in the future.
The Liverpool manager famous for this iconic quote:
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
Shankly is probably one of the best football managers of all time as he transformed the fortunes of Liverpool, making them a real powerhouse in world football.
The inspiration for many a manager, Liverpool fans would certainly be hoping for him to manage their team in the present day.
Didier Drogba is not only an icon in the Ivory Coast for being one of the best footballers in the world along with his charity foundations – he’s also helped stopped a civil war.
In 2005, Drogba picked up a microphone and on his knees live on television, begged the Ivory Coast rebels and the government to put down their weapons and engage in a ceasefire.
It worked, only elevating Drogba’s status further not only in his country but in Africa and the world as well. Truly one of the most inspirational figures in world football.