Aristotle once said the whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts. Tonight (Tuesday night) that philosophy rang true again. Liverpool faced Barcelona at Anfield, three goals down from the first leg and missing its top two stars, Firminio and Salah out due to injury. ‘The informed’, suggested Liverpool stood no chance in overturning the deficit and would crash out the semi-finals of the Champions League, at best they could perhaps hope for a dignified scoreline against Europe’s elite (worth a staggering $4.1B).
The Barca captain, five-time Ballon D’Or (best world footballer award) winner, Lionel Messi valued at $400M alone, led his team of superstars onto the hallowed Anfield turf but it didn’t go to plan.
Liverpools team philosophy was aparant from the outset, and they were rewarded with an early lead on the seventh minute. After a further injury, Liverpools team returned from Halftime a goal up but missing one of their key players who was withdrawn through injury and replaced by Gini Wijnaldum, furthermore, other members of the team had to place outside of their natural position to accommodate the enforced changes. Despite the setbacks, the team philosophy didn’t suffer. The makeshift squad instead took the game to Barcelona and went on to win the tie four goals to nil and thus securing their place in the Champions League cup final courtesy of two fantastic Wijnaldum goals in the space of two minutes and utter innovation from two of the youngest players on the pitch, Alexander-Arnold and Divock Origi.
So what’s the learning point, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you; Sometimes the ‘A’ Team just can’t compete with ‘A Team’. It’s great to have individual brilliance, it’s even better to have a team of world-class individuals, but a collective group trumps it all. On paper, Liverpool should never have stood a chance given the aggregate scoreline, the resource issues and strength of the opposition, but they did.
A collective unified effort, strong leadership, innovation and freedom of expression steeped with the trust of an inspiring manager can lead even the most under-resourced, underdog to victory.
You may not be a fan of Liverpool, football or sports in general. Irrespective, you will all be able to draw upon experiences where your collective efforts achieved result beyond expectation. Celebrate that today and share this post with members of that team.
Leaders lead, teams achieve, and innovation must be encouraged.
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