2018 FIFA World Cup has just concluded. During the tournament period, I often stayed up late at nights to cheer for my favorite teams and soccer stars just like any excited international fans. This has brought back my memories of senior high school and college years, when I used to play soccer games, and also recalling that Brazilian soccer legend Pelé’s visit to Taipei in 1999 and his stay at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. He was kind enough to give us his autographed soccer ball which has bestowed me the honor to meet him in person and left vivid impression till now.
Being a soccer player myself, I can appreciate the unbelievably outstanding skills exhibited on today’s top players who proudly represent their countries. Their nimble dribble and pass, excellent control, scoring with bicycle kick, the amazing flying header to make a pass, banana free kick, and corner kick, were able to shoot a goal in any unbelievable angle which illustrated they were well trained to demonstrate their skills in versatile kicks with attack and defense moves, in particular at the breathtaking moment to shoot and score, not only gave us a competitive game to watch, but also carried the following inspiring revelations:
(1) Smart Technologies, Dazzling Event:
The 2018 FIFA World Cup has invested US$14 billion to stage innumerable state-of-the-art technologies. The use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) can assist in more accurate officiating. The soccer balls are embedded with NFC chips. Other innovative applications include the “hawk-eye goal line” technology to determine if a goal has been scored or not, VR was implemented for all matches as a live stream in 180-degrees as well as in 360-degree VoD offer to rights holders, allowing global audiences to view in high definition quality. Smart technologies are indeed drivers to promote industrial transformations. Our public and private sectors should also think through how to apply innovative digital tools and education models to assist organizations to build up a more effective learning environment, and elevate the efficiency of talent cultivation.
(2) Innovative Technologies, Advanced Soccer Kits:
Though soccer may not be our strength in athletics, Taiwan is not left out from the World Cup. The sweat-wicking quick dry fabric manufactured by Far Eastern New Century Corporation supplies to various national teams that include the fourth place of the England team. Since 2006, FENC’s eco-friendly high-performance thread has been supplying at four consecutive World Cups. In line with the global athleisure wear trend, more than 70 percent of the world’s renowned outdoor sportswear is currently using performance textiles from Taiwan. We are in fact the understated champion of the World Cup. However, during the expansion of production processes, all measures must be complete and ready. There should be no shortage of water, electricity, and labor. We need a visionary leader to lead us onto the world stage and perform outstandingly.
(3) Commitment Leads to Success, Progress or Regress:
With the population of only 330,000, Iceland spent six years to reconstruct its national soccer team from ranking at the bottom of 131st in 2012 to the current 22nd qualifying for the top 20 teams in 2018 World Cup; it is interesting to learn that its head coach is also a practicing dentist, its defender also works in a salt-packing factory, and the goalkeeper who became famous for fending Christiano Ronaldo and saving Lionel Messi’s penalty is a director who dreams of winning the Oscar Award. Iceland played to a hard-fought draw with the world’s ranking fifth Argentina. Thus, victory comes from strong will and commitment. With dedication, determination, and faith, a miracle can be achieved. Surprisingly, Germany, the defending champion of 2014 FIFA World Cup, was defeated by South Korea and ousted before quarter finals; England's World Cup dream was shattered by Croatia, the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the final game. These lessons show us that in the volatile soccer ground and business world, there are no forever champions. You should never lose guard, if you do not make progress, stay complacent, or fail to make commitments, you could lose battles easily.
(4) Patriotism in Sync, Glory for All:
We see soccer fans from all over the world waive their national flags, wear or paint totems of their national flags on their bodies or faces, sing the national anthems on openings of games, touching moments to show their patriotism. Players represent their own countries or regions, and fight for the honor of their countries. The united mobilization and warmth of fans are also quite impressive. World-class sports competitions not only showcase the players’ powerful skills and long-term efforts, but also illustrate a nation’s comprehensive economic and technological strength and ethnic spirit. At the openings of most major sports events in the U. S., we often see people sing out loud the national anthem. And at the award ceremony of the Olympics, winners who witness their national flags rise in front of them, and national anthems being played from their victories. What a touching moment of glory! Seeing the winning teams revel in extreme joy, and the defeated team broke down in tears expressing their true emotions to fully reflect how these teams form their strong bonding and unity for their nations.
(5) Team Work, Winning Strategy:
To cultivate a national team qualified for the World Cup would require not only the investments from government policies and resources to build its competitiveness; more importantly is the placement of players at the right positions to excel their skills. Talent recruitment and selection would be the key to success. During this year’s World Cup, many star soccer players or top teams failed to reach the final. Therefore, no matter running soccer teams or enterprises, you need to be able to put the right people at the right places, rely on team work, and remain calm during battles. The final victory will only prevail from strategies headed by the coaches or managers to seize the opportunity of each attack, adjust strategies with flexibilities, exert leadership, strength, execution, and proper deployment, prevent making any error, and fight until the last minute. These strategies can also be applied to the public and private institutions that should put aside their differences and tap talent to form a strong team so as to lead us forward, and work side by side to overcome challenges.
After watching these amazing soccer games, we cannot help but think about the developments of our champion industries. During the past decades, we have put a lot of efforts and energy that we finally were able to kick the ball cross the half-way. For example, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is already qualified into the world cup of semiconductor industry. The government should really expedite its planning of the masterplan in national developments, utilize Taiwan’s talent pool, respond to the developments of the New Economy, establish more powerful teams, these will enable us to gain control ahead of other industrialized nations in order to win championship and kick more goals for Taiwan.
The champion of 2018 FIFA World Cup has already emerged. We sincerely wish that our industries can demonstrate more creativities, invest more resources for the brand of “Made in Taiwan”, create higher added value, expand the scope of our New Economy, let Taiwan’s exquisite brands shine across the globe, let the world see the rise of our beautiful national flag again, and hear us rejoice and chant the national anthem to celebrate our victory. #