I always thought that it must be hard to be a Christian footballer. Although going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian, for those days that the soundtrack to your life is “As the Deer,” Church can really be like a spiritual petrol station.
There are many players in the World Cup that have really inspired me. Two minutes after Italy scored, Daniel Sturridge equalised! After doing his little celebratory dance, he prayed! It wasn’t the first time that he was filmed praying but this prayer signified so much more. It showed humility! I pray for that type of humility. Many players would have loved to be selected to play in this World Cup. It gives them the opportunity to showcase their talent to a global arena. Scouts all over the world will be watching and then waiting for the transfer window to open. Playing in the World Cup is an amazing opportunity and privilege. Scoring in it is something else. Sturridge scored the first and only goal for England. Right after doing so, he gave the glory back to God!
It was amazing to see. Especially from an English player. You see a lot of other countries players doing the sign of the Cross or praying before the match is about to start, but in England Christianity, particularly Christian footballers is a taboo. Jermain Defoe has never been shy about his faith but he is amongst the minority. I was reading an article and it was talking about the struggles that many of the top English footballers face trying to express their faith.
There is just something about the World Cup that is just tranquil. Despite the referee blowing the whistle and handing out yellow cards. Or the aggressive play by the Hondurans. There is peace. It could easily make you forget about the crisis in Iraq, or the girls who still haven’t been found in Nigeria or the woman who is facing death in Sudan or the millions of the other Christians who are being persecuted across the world. For those 90 minutes, 11 men represent a country. They can either bring great sadness or joy to their supporters but for those 90 minutes, all eyes are on them.