football stadium_

Against the odds

Sports, student story, Travel

It was March 2013 when I was able to witness the miracle of Gijon. Now you may ask what the miracle of Gijon is. Glad that I got you attention. Well the miracle of Gijon originated when the Finnish national football team managed to grab a point in an important football match against the invincible Spain who manage to win all previous games. As a metaphor, the game was literally David vs Goliath from the bible, if you know the story. David who was a little shepherd boy from a small town fought against the strong, more than three meters high, experienced military commander and won the duel by cutting off Goliath’s head. No one gave David any chances to win, not even his own brothers.

Now that you understood the quick biblical story let me take you back to my experiences. Everything happened really fast. My father managed to win tickets from his job, and we had four days to get ready for the match, as it was played in Gijon, Spain. The name of the city comes from the Latin word saxonem, which means rocks. Gijon is home to about 272,000 people, making it a really small town. The city was an important regional center during the Roman Empire as it is the northernmost city in Spain. A short lesson of the history of Gijon.

I was super excited because this was the first time, I got to watch a Spanish national team match in Spain. Every boy’s dream or why not every girl’s dream too. In that match, no one gave Finland any chance. Everyone expected the match to end at least 5-0 for Spain, 27,637 spectators were about to see this match and witnessing this miracle. The match ended unexpectedly 1-1. The Spanish team was number one in the FIFA rankings before the match, while Finland was only in 87th place. Spain was therefore considered a clear winner. I remember that gamling companies had given Finland insanely high bets for a draw. I should have bet. Just kidding, I was on the Spanish side and I hoped they would win because the team was full of legends such as Sergio Ramos, Xavi Hernandez, Andreas Iniesta, Davin Silva, etc.

Finland was determined in the match and worked humbly throughout the 90 minutes while Spain missed goal scoring chances, and at times played really arrogantly. The hero of the match was Teemu Pukki who scored the goal for Finland, but in fact I think the whole Finnish team was full of heroes in that match.

I hope you can use this Gijon miracle as an example and as a fuel in your own struggles. Even if you are dealt bad cards, the situation can change when you believe enough and are humble to your vision.

May the forces be with you.

Sincerely yours,

Merveille Bivu Ndonga
Merveille Bivu Ndonga

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