Life lessons from the World Cup

The quadrennial football World Cup is well and truly underway.

Besides being a joy to watch, the matches also hold useful takeaways not just for Singapore football but also for us as a nation.

Take the match between South Korea and Germany for example (Champions cursed again; June 28).

•Football minnows South Korea's win over powerhouse Germany shows that small players should never be afraid to punch above their weight.

Such a mindset will stand Singapore in good stead as we grapple with the challenges of technological disruption and the new economy, and jostle with big players on the global stage.

•Throughout the match, the German team showed fatigue and frustration, and gave a dis-united and lacklustre performance. These were the real killers for this World Cup defending champion.

Singapore has to be alert against fatigue and forces that threaten national unity if we are to continue to be champions.

•South Korea was already out of the running for a spot in the knock-out stages, but persevered and played passionately nevertheless.

Likewise, passion and perseverance will help Singapore go the distance.

•In the final minutes of the match, Germany threw all its resources into attack, and left its goalpost unguarded. This allowed South Korea's Son Heung-min to score the second goal, catching Germany by surprise and sealing its fate.

Singapore, too, cannot be complacent and let its guard down if it is to defend against surprise attacks and continue its winning ways.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Life lessons from the World Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe