I was a soccer fan when I was a little child in China. My father loves soccer very much, maybe under his influence, I became one as well.
I remember vividly when I was 4 years old; it was the 1990 Italy FIFA World Cup. The final match was Brazil vs Italy, and after 120 minutes of two half times and extra time, the trophy would be given to the winner team from the penalty shootout. I believed during that time, thousands of soccer fans were watching the exciting and breath-taking game - most watched it around the world in front of the television.
When Italian super star Roberto Baggio's turn at the penalty spot he shot off target, a great sigh was heard by his fans all over the world, including my father. I remember it was 3.00 or 4.00am, and it was quiet. But he made a huge loud cry as his super star Baggio lost the penalty shootout with the trophy going to the Brazilians. At that time, I didn't understanding why my father would be so disappointed and made such a noise at that late time. However, from that time, soccer became part of my soul.
In primary school, I enjoyed the fun soccer brought me. I joined in the school soccer team, and we would conduct training after school every afternoon. In that period of time, the most excited part of the day was the last class of the day. When the bell rang, along with the other boys from the soccer team, I would grab my school bag and run to the school field getting ready for training. However, when in year 5, I had to quit the soccer team. In order to achieve a higher score in the Middle School Entry exam, I had to join the tutoring classes for Mathematics and Chinese after school and the weekend. I didn't have time to play soccer, even though I loved it that much.
In my middle school and later high school, I did play soccer but not nearly as much as at primary school. And later on, as my study became heavier, there was even less time for sports. But this didn't deter my love for soccer but I enjoyed watching the Chinese Super League.
My hometown soccer team is called Chongqing Li Fan Autos, it wasn't a very strong team and for on an occasion, it dropped to the lower level of the league. But they managed somehow to make it back to the top league. Li Fan Autos team nickname is "elevator", as they often drop to the lower league and then make a come back. The soccer players and coaches never gave up. They believed in themselves that they would forge ahead by winning enough games in the lower league.
That's the key reason why I support my home team. This club had faith deep inside their hearts. Last year they dropped back into the lower league, but last weekend they won the champion of the lower league and qualified for the higher league once more next season.
As announced by the financial investor of Li Fan Autos there would be more money for the coming season, I believe this team now will play a more aggressive role in the league. And sooner or later, they will say goodbye to their nick name "elevator".
It's just a little bit of faith! So too in our lives, when doing it tough in life, we each need a little bit of that faith. For me as a Christian, it is a little more faith in Jesus, as He is always with me along life's pathways. He is way, the truth and the life, especially when we get a little lost in this world.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html