It Isn’t About the Money in Professional Sport
Forget the money, forget the lifestyle, forget the materialisation that being a modern day footballer has become. As even though top Premier League players earn copious amounts of money and can live in the high life people do not give footballers enough credit for just how much it takes to make it at the highest of levels.
This lunchtime saw Manchester United host Arsenal and a prime example of having to be in top physical shape is a young Brazilian called Rafael Da Silva. Now at the moment he isn’t the best of players in the world but he must be pretty good to play for Manchester United. On top of that he must be a finely tuned athletic machine to have played three full 90 minute matches and an extra half an hour on Wednesday all in a week. To be able to play 300 minutes of football is one thing, but to do it at the highest level in three massive games for one of the biggest football clubs in the world is ridiculous.
He played 90 minutes on Sunday in a fiery encounter at Stamford Bridge under intense condition. Then to go and play 120 minutes in all at the same Stadium following what took place on Sunday was incredible; not to mention the fact that he was the most senior man in the defence that night at the tender age of just 22. And on top of training sessions in between he then plays in the Saturday lunchtime kick off against one of United’s oldest and most familiar foes in Arsenal.
Now I’m not saying footballers do more than other sportsman or anything along those lines. I just think that its pretty unfair how people claim that footballers don’t do an awful lot , the broken record needs to be changed and replaced. Rafael is an example and in every sport hard work has to be put in to make it at the highest level. Whether it is a Snooker or Darts player practising and learning their trade in pubs and pool halls all the way to football and rugby players who play in the park, in the playground or anywhere they can get space to move the ball around. To be at the top of your sport you have to be a super-human in terms of athleticism along with mental and physical ability.
Over the summer we saw the Olympics hit London and suddenly everybody hit out at footballers questioning their commitment and sportsmanship, quite understandably but my feelings on the matter cannot be any more passionate towards football. Football is almost a different entity due to how much it is highlighted in the media and how every little thing is scrutinized in such a high profile way. But what people don’t realise is just how hard making it at the highest level takes and I feel more consideration and appreciation just needs to be shown more often.