Football, beyond being a sport

We all know to a greater or lesser extent the economic side of football and its leading role in today’s society. However, its social impact is not so evident and not within the reach of everyone.

Beyond the laudable humanitarian work that many footballers carry out, whether in collaboration with organisations or through their own foundations, football has managed to transcend its borders and has established itself as a key player in extra-sporting battles.

Precisely this post is about a war, which ended by the mediation of a footballer. An event originated at the beginning of the century, in 2002 to be precise. At the end of that year, a civil war breaks out between the southern zone and the rebel side of a country located in the western part of the African continent.

In contrast to the territory’s decline, it was witnessing the flowering of the most outstanding generation of footballers in its history, who reach its peak by qualifying for the first time for a World Cup (Germany 2006).

On Saturday October 8th 2005, Côte d’Ivoire achieved this feat, with Didier Drogba leading the way. The captain, aware of the event they had achieved and of the ephemeral conviction power granted for the moment, put aside the euphoria and implored the unity of the whole country. There was no room for hate in his speech, but he did take up a heartfelt plea: a country with so much wealth could only evolve with everyone’s help. In short, he sought to make his fellow citizens aware that possible elections could be more effective than the use of weapons. An a priori harmless action, which penetrated deeply into Ivorian society and marked the end of a conflict that had so far ended more than four thousand lives. In the same way, it led the extraordinary striker to become a legend.

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