Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Christian Sportsmanship


Ryan Giggs, who today is a Welsh soccer (football) coach, said the following when reminiscing on his days as a player:

"If there is a player I fell in love with because of class, elegance and character, it is undoubtedly Ricardo Kaka. We played the semi-finals of the Champions League at Old Trafford, and Kaka was unstoppable. He has that touch of magic in such competitions that makes the difference. I had never seen him play up close, until then.

At one point he committed a foul in the center and I protested to the referee to show him a yellow card. Seeing me, he got up and grabbed me by the neck. I knew he was very religious, faithful and devout, and I thought, 'A person who is so religious grabs me by the throat?'

When the match ended, he was waiting in our locker room for me with Gennaro Gattuso (who spoke English well, because he played on the Rangers). He told me that Ricardo wants to apologize for his unsportsmanlike move. I replied: 'No problem, we are men.' Ricardo gave me a hug and then handed me an icon. I was shocked by his generosity and explained: 'Ricardo, no problem, the players on the field sometimes are willing to do strange things, but in the Champions League in the semi-finals it is a normal thing.' Gattuso translated and Kaka knelt in front of me and again thanked me. The whole dressing room applauded and we exchanged jerseys.

I still have the icon he gave me and reminds me of one of the most special moments in my career."