The sports world is known for a tremendous amount of comraderie. Yes, there are some fierce rivalries in the sports world. No one would deny they exist. Yet, great examples of sportsmanship abound. The thanks Simone Zaza provided to Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala is indicative of this. Zaza tipped his hat to the two players after he scored a goal in the Champions League bout against Sevilla. The final score of the event was 2 – 0.
The Juventus team has not exactly had the greatest of records as of late. The 2 – 0 win helps start a comeback. How long the winning ways of the team will continue remain to be seen. If Zaza and fellow scorer Morata continues to score goals, the team should do well. 2 goals in an entire game is enough to win, sometimes. With solid goalkeeping support, “only” scoring two goals can be enough. A win is a win whether the score is 1 – 0 or 11 – 10.
Morata scored a goal around 40 minutes into the game. Zaza ended up scoring his goal very late in the game, at around the 87-minute mark. The importance of both goals cannot be understated, but it is safe to say Zaza’s goal was critically important to the outcome. The reason for this is, when a team leads 1 – 0, only a single goal is required to tie the game.
Through scoring a second goal so late in the game, Zaza did his team a tremendous service. With the second goal on the scoreboard, the opposing team would be required to score two goals with very, very little time remaining in order to tie. Scoring three is what obviously would be necessary to pull off a win. While far more goals have been scored at late points in a game, such outcomes are not commonplace. An opposing team that is put into a difficult position so late in the game has a lot to overcome. Of course, the team in the lead is going to stall a bit to kill the clock. The goal of a soccer game is to win, not to take ridiculous risks. So, the more conservative approach to playing becomes the strategy for the team that is ahead. The goal scored by Zaza helps with this desirable approach and aids in arriving at a proper outcome.
Paulo Dybala did not score a goal in the game so some may wonder why Zaza chose to shine the spotlight on him. The reason is Dybala’s performance on the field helped establish a certain flow to the game. His presence on the field necessitates certain actions and reactions from the other players. As a result, the game turned out a certain way. Dybala definitely contributed to this effect. Zaza should know all the “how’s and why’s” surrounding the goals he made. If he feels Dybala contributed heavily to the outcome, is there anyone who could credibly say he is wrong?
Zaza noted that the two men he thanked did one major thing to help make his goal possible. The two players tired out others on the opposing team. It is hard to play sharp when you start to become tired. A lack of muscular endurance and overall sharpness makes it extremely difficult to be where you need to be at the absolute necessary time. By pushing the opposing team so hard, Morata and Dybala tired them out. While it was never easy for Zaza to score, the process was made a bit less difficult.
Again, Zaza knows best when it comes to definitely what exactly was required to score the final goal. He pointed to these two men for a reason. Obviously, that reason is they helped him the most and he knows it. Now, the whole sports world knows this because Zaza was nice enough to point things out.
The fact that Zaza went out of his way to give the other two players their just due is remarkable. In a sports world where everyone is trying to garner outrageous attention, Zaza’s remarkable display of class is truly amazing. Giving teammates a little bit of the spotlight is rare in the current media-driven landscape. Zaza raised his own stature a lot with such a selfless gesture. Hopefully, this gesture will not be quickly forgotten. The news agencies did pick up the story of his gratitude and this shows how such positive behavior is notable and newsworthy. Sadly, it is also rare in the modern sports landscape.
Zaza and his teammates do have to start looking ahead. The 2 – 0 was nice, but it is now part of the history books. The team’s home record could be improved and that has to become a major goal for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, the spark of sportsmanship that Zaza presented will help motivate the team to do well and a winning record results.