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The captaincy can be based on seniority, multilingualism, or good relationship with authorities. Leadership is a process that does not necessarily require such criteria. That is every captain is not a leader.

The soccer community praised Simon Kjaer for having intervened so promptly to clear the airways of Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch with cardiac arrest during the Denmark national team first game against Finland in the UEFA Euro 2020 on June 12, 2021. Members of both Danish and UEFA medical staff acknowledged that Kjaer saved his teammate’s life. The world of soccer was even more appreciative that AC Milan central back initiated the implementation of the circle around the Inter Milan player laying down with rescuers trying to resuscitate him.

Kjaer is not required to do what he did. He did attend a training or at least read about somewhere to be able to apply it so successfully. He could just join himself to the referee in emitting emergency signals to the Danish bench so that medical team members could hurry up the field. But by rushing to a teammate with the skills and trust to prevent him from dying he prove that he both deserve the wearing of the armband and the statue of leader.

As all captains are not leaders. Oftentimes, captains lead their teammates to failure instead of victory with lack of timing in certain initiatives.

Every captain is not a chosen based on leadership. In certain club such as Real Madrid the function of captain is based on precedency. Sergio Ramos was a great captain there, but after his departure there has been no debate to determine his successor, Marcello based on the latter’s longevity in the squad. Many teams count on a personality who embodies a great sense of leadership. To gain unanimity among teammates and approach any situation with justness are two of the indispensable characteristics of a captain-leader.

Indeed, members of the squad expect you instruct them about everything on the pitch, in the dressing-room and even outside, in normal life. Because they believe in you, they expect that you get solution for every problem they face with. And you should have response to their questions because you share the same space and concerns as them. Moreover, you are a direct interlocutor of the technical staff and even authorities who are problem-solvers. Certain captain-leaders are so clause to their teammates that they are the first person to share their intimacy with.

Kajaer’s act on the pitch was a leading one. Captain-leaders, like Diego Maradona, do anything they can to put their teammates in confidence. Maradona had the ability to win a game on his own, as for instance this famous one man show against England in 1986 FIFA World Cup, even as he had to cheat. The Croatian Davor Suker explained Maradona kickstarted his career when the Argentinian legend arrived in Sevilla in 1992. The former Napoli captain, who came to recover Sevilla’s armband, told Suker, “I don’t want you to run to the sides or anything. Just keep your head down, run towards the goalkeeper, and I will give it you there.”

Almoez Ali should have kicked the penal

As all captains are not leaders. Oftentimes, captains lead their teammates to failure instead of victory with lack of timing in certain initiatives. During the first Concacaf Goldcup semi-final between Qatar and USA last night, the Qatari captain Hassan Al-Haydos took an unhappy lead that lessened his fellow players’ mental. After the VAR granted a penalty to Qatar, Al-Haydos grabbed the ball and stood on the penalty dot. So far, there is anything bad in doing that if he felt confident, he could put it inside the goal. The problem was with the timing. He was not supposed to kick it. On the contrary, it was to his duty to hand the ball to Almoez Ali, striker who is in the race to win the golden boot. Ali has been with 4 goals while seven other players came after with three.

Almoez Ali wanted to take charge of kicking it, but the captain decided that it must be him the shooter, ignoring that Ali has the advantage of having already succeeded one attempt during the tournament. Al-Haydos, the captain unfortunately failed to open the score for his country defeated 0-1 (86’). Hassan Al-Haydos is a captain but not a leader. A leader let emerge other leaders, is a leader-maker and know to choose the right momentum.

By Guadel

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