‘O Jogo Bonito’ (Portuguese) phrase, meaning ‘The Beautiful Game’ is actually popularised by the Brazilian professional footballer Pelé. In 1977, he named his autobiography ‘My life and the beautiful game’ and since then the phrase has entered the language as a description for football. However, the exact origin of the phrase is disputed.
Football is the most beautiful game ever played. Evidently, Google will give millions of results if you search why is it beautiful. I am a UX designer and know the importance of a good Team to get the best product out on the market. Metaphorically what Soccer can teach us about a Team, is no other Sport actually can.
The soccer team has eleven players one of whom must be the goalkeeper, whereas numbers of individuals in teams in offices depend on the size of the company, projects, and budgets. How a ball reaches from the goalkeeper to the forward player through several passes between defenders and midfielders is not so different from a project goal (determined by respective Teams), which only reaches the final stage of production after doing several rounds of discussions/iterations/implementations between stakeholders.
The stakeholders involved in the project is a team of Project Managers, Designers, Heads of concern departments and developers similar to the Soccer team where a Goalie, midfielder or a striker running and passing through hurdles with a single most objective in mind — ‘Goal’.
Who is the opposition
The opposition is that protects their goalposts and stops the other team to score any goal whereas the opposition in offices could be anything. Opposition that tries to find faults in other projects, which a team is aiming for, or try to come with false presentations (fake injuries dramas similar to what Neymar did against Mexico in FIFA 2018), so that your team players get a Yellow card (to further improve your projects) or Red Card (a double warning) where you end up losing your favourite team member on the project or completely trash the project.
Why is it so beautiful every time we see it? (Taking FIFA 2018 as an example)
Soccer is not about one person (individual) who is leading a team or the highest wicket-taker, run scorer in a Cricket match that leads his team to a victory — it’s about a TEAM, where everyone gets an equal chance to score a goal depending on their individual skills.
There will always be a drama (like Neymar or Suarez), yellow cards (Croatia’s Dejan Lovren foul on Artem Dzyuba of Russia), Hero becoming zero (when Mario Fernandes of Russia missed penalty after bringing back his team in the game), respect for other players (like Ronaldo helping Cavani to go out of the field when he got injured), or comprehensive wins (when England thrashed Panama 6–1), but you never lose respect for your colleagues or the opposition and play in the best spirit of the game with one common objective — ‘to win’ or ‘to score a goal’.
From the very start when the toss happens and captains choose their goal sides, to the end of the match — it never looks like an individual game. In the case of an equal number of goals scored at the end of the match within designated time by both teams, a penalty shootout takes place. No matter if the goalkeeper saves all the five goals from going into the goal post — the team would not win if that Goalie’s teammates don’t score goals in the opposition’s goalpost. What happened in Russia vs Croatia quarter-finals FIFA’2018 match is a dire example of this.
Who doesn’t want to be a Messi, Ronaldo or Suarez? A star performer on which the whole team depends, but even these star performers fail in the long run when the teams as a unit fail. Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina couldn’t make it to the Semi-finals of FIFA 2018 as their teams as a unit failed and not because of any particular individuals.
Goals can be achieved by giving equal opportunities to the individuals on the team. How a 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe of France was simply too hot to handle in the match against Argentina. The striker used his raw speed to a devastating effect to leave defenders trailing in his wake all game. He capped his performance with two goals to take his side into the next round.
A Coach’s job is also of the utmost importance where he decides who will play at what position. He knows when to take out a player from the field and substitute with others.
“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” — Dr. Stephen R Covey
Office goals are mental and soccer goals are more physical, but the objective of both the entities remains the same i.e to win collectively and perform fairly.
Views expressed in this article are my personal.