Footballers appear in news headlines across the world, more often than not for the wrong reasons; therefore losing faith in the modern day player is expected. If the likes of Joey Barton and Andy Carroll appear on our television screens for acts of violence and criminality, then guilty or not, it is going to have a negative effect on what the youth of today believe is right or wrong. However it is not all doom and gloom within our beloved sport, as there are also several unsung heroes of the game. These individuals, whatever role they have within a team, deserve more credit for their contributions to both football and society alike.
A recent addition to the premier league is a player who seems to follow this moral attitude, Edin Dzeko. The Manchester City forward had a troubled and inconsistent childhood, yet saw an opportunity to increase his quality of life by pursuing a career in football. He began his career in Bosnia, working his way through the FK Željezni?ar youth system, before showing his talent and potential at Wolfsburg. This earned him a big money move to Manchester City in January 2011. However, as an individual it appears he goes deeper than just his 6 foot 4 inch frame, and his reasonable goal scoring record. Edin Dzeko is UNICEF Ambassador for Bosnia, allowing him to visit those affected by events such as the Bosnian war, and do his bit help where possible. Despite the pressures of performing in training and on the pitch each week, Dzeko still finds time to show the unselfish side to some footballers within the game, with UNICEF responsibilities taking high priority in his schedule, something that surely should be encouraged consistently by media and the general public. More recently he opened a ‘UNICEF Early Childhood and Development’ premises in Bosnia, stating:
“Every child deserves the best start possible and we are here today to support this initiative and congratulate the people behind it.”
Personally, I feel this is a refreshing and noteworthy attitude from an individual that could have left his UNICEF and Bosnian responsibilities behind when his move to Manchester City was secured. This path to stardom may well be similar for many players, as they fight hard to become a success in this punishing sport. However, when earning excessive amounts each week, many forget about the struggles in their past, using this money to fund a lifestyle of women and wine. These footballers often use their enhanced popularity and fame for negative reasons, losing gratitude for the opportunities that they have been given. During these footballer’s lowest moments, like prowling hyenas, the media pounce, creating criminals and sinners within flashes. The likes of Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs become puppets in the media game, taking up pages upon pages of newspaper columns around the world. However, the positive events surrounding specific footballers receive little to no mention in major newspapers, leaving suggestions that it either does not exist or is not worth releasing to the public.
Controversy and scandal sells, and it appears that newspapers must lose whatever moral attitudes they had in order to find column inches for stories about affairs and brutality. This is the way it will be for years to come, with the average footballer not getting the credit they deserve for selfless yet less ‘interesting’ actions that, if correctly broadcasted, could turn footballers into the right role models for the youth of today.
Although not in any way comparable to a profession that saves lives, thousands turn out to watch these players take the field each week, with football arguably the most entertaining sport in the world. However the fact these standard human beings are become generalised by the media to be a villain, with the negative persona of idiocy and greed that so many loathe within a footballer. This leaves many underestimated. Some individuals deserve more credit for the effort they put back in to society as a whole, with the likes of Dzeko, the Neville brothers and Jamie Carragher all doing their bit for specific charities or causes. I would prefer to give these footballers the right media attention, and, in turn, hopefully prevent the future of football becoming driven by arrogance and selfishness.
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “email@example.com” to learn more.