Football has been incredibly successful in integrating people from many different walks of life. Would you say you have benefitted as a person by mixing with these peoples from different religions and nationalities?
You also have to find a happy balance where everyone understands each other, accepts each other and understands we are here because we love the game and want to win football games. It’s fascinating how different nationalities, different cultures and religions bring something different and how they make you a richer group, if you want, with different dimensions. You take this as a positive, rather than a negative.
The biggest challenge is finding a way to be a team because, as you know, football is maybe 16 or 18 brains working together to try and get a result. When those brains have different backgrounds or different cultures and religions, you need to find a way to understand each other and understand each other’s cultures.
Especially how you face adversity, because that’s probably where you really see the difference between human beings – how you react to adversity within your own culture. You have different ways to express those emotions and they could be a bit disrespectful to others.
I thought the first time we faced adversity with all the cultures was really tough and we just divided even more. Since we identified that, we used the experience of every culture to try to find solutions to help and understand each other – I think it is working extremely well in that respect. Now we know how to help each other through adversity with multicultural backgrounds and relations.