While you pick the orange pulp out of your teeth, let’s recap the first half. (If this reference baffles you, you might want to start with Part 1)
Ary Borges plays soccer for the National Women’s Soccer League’s team Racing Louisville Football Club in Louisville, Kentucky. She also plays fútbol for Brazil’s Women’s World Cup team, playing at FIFA 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
Ary scored two goals in her debut World Cup match, and had the chance to score a very rare hat trick (three or more goals in a game). Instead, she passed the ball to her teammate, thereby trading her hat trick for an assist…
In Part 1, I made life parallels from soccer. This is reinforced by Dani Rojas proclaiming, “Fútbol is Life!” so I know I’m on to something.
The singular moment of Ary’s selfless heel flick to her teammate reveals several life and leadership lessons.
Ary’s decision to pass the ball to her teammate instead of pursuing personal glory exemplifies the strength of teamwork. So too in life, we can often achieve greater success by collaborating and supporting one another. Life, like soccer, is a team sport. Victory is more likely when we embrace the strengths of those around us and work together toward extraordinary outcomes. The winning leader lets go of self-centeredness and keeps focus on all letters of “team” and not just the “m-e.”
No one would have faulted Ary for going directly to goal and trying for the elusive hat trick. Even if she had missed, the shot on goal would still be a statistic worth contributing to. Her choice to pass it off shows a maturity beyond her years and beyond her experience in the game. Life isn’t about how much we can brute force into fruition on our own. It’s about humbly including others by reaching out for and accepting their help.
True leaders understand that empowering others to shine and thrive opens doors to learning, growth, and meaningful connections with others.
With a flick of her heel, Ary acknowledges on a grand stage that success is more meaningful when shared with others. Prioritizing relationships over personal achievements fosters a sense of belonging and fulfillment. Go back and watch the moment right after her pass becomes an assist. The joy on Ary’s face is just as evident as it is for Bia, the one who gets credit for the goal. It is a pure beauty of unselfishness and joy that comes from giving to others.
Ary’s story challenges the conventional notion of success, emphasizing that it goes beyond individual accomplishments. We can do the same off the pitch: Redefine success to include the positive impact we have on those around us and the community in which we live. Even in individual sports or endeavors, there is a team of supporters that gets you there. It takes a village.
As the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup games continue, that one pass in the Brazil v. Panama game will forever be seared in my memory. With that one motion, Ary Borges flicked her legacy well beyond her achievements on the field. It became a testament to the enduring impact of selflessness and the values she embraces.
In life, our actions and values become our true legacy, shaping the world for generations that follow. Ary Borges wasn’t a name on my radar before the match. It sure is now.
In the 48th minute of the game, Ary passed her chance to be the 25th hat trick in FIFA Women’s World Cup history. The 70th minute held the true poetic and karmic justice—Ary secured Brazil’s victory in the match with a fourth goal, and solidified her spot as the 25th FIFA Women’s World Cup hat trick scorer.
Embrace the transformative power of teamwork, humility, relationships, and a redefinition of success. Life’s true beauty lies in the connections we build, the positive impact we make, and the ability to find fulfillment in the development, success, and happiness of those around us.
To quote Roy Kent, “WHISTLE!” Now go grab your Capri Sun.