My son and I have been musing for the past couple of weeks over something that Lee Dixon said on a recent Premier League broadcast. Lee commented that his strategy as a player was to stop the other team from scoring and then pass the ball to players who were better than him.
Let’s reflect on that for a moment: Stop the other team from scoring and then pass the ball to players who are better than you. Such simplicity! Such beauty! Think how the (currently catastrophic) defending in the top leagues would be transformed if defenders made that their mantra, their daily bread, their Jesus Prayer.
You know who understood that? Gennaro Gattuso. Speaking the other day about his longtime teammate, the magnificent Andrea Pirlo, he said, “I played with him for about 20 years when you consider the national youth teams, in difficult moments I just gave it to him, I always felt assured when I was next to him. I understood what I had to do, and he was taking care of the rest. He helped me much more in my career than I did him.”
In difficult moments I just gave it to him. You are a wise man, Rino. A wise, wise man.