***UPDATE*** True Courage: Ivory Coast Midfielder Serey Die Took the Field Just Two Hours After His Father Passed Away
Serey Die’s father did not pass away a few hours before game time, as reported earlier. The Ivory Coast midfielder has since stated that he was overcome with emotions thinking about playing for his country during their national anthem prior to today’s game against Colombia at the World Cup. And he was also thinking about his deceased father, who passed away in 2004.
Here’s a look at the emotional moment:
***END OF UPDATE***
Though his team may have lost, today Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die became the first global hero of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He didn’t score any goals. He didn’t set up any goals. He didn’t prevent any goals. In fact, his heroism has nothing at all to do with what he did on the field today. His heroism has to do with the fact that he stepped onto the field at all, a mere two hours after getting word that his father had passed away.
Of course, TV cameras caught the 29-year-old midfielder sobbing during the Ivorian national anthem before the game, but most people just assumed that his emotions had gotten the better of him before the biggest game of his life. It was only later that FIFA tweeted the news about Serey’s father, which cast that moment and the entire game in a whole new light. This wasn’t just an expression of patriotism. This was a man standing up for his country and his teammates even though his heart was broken. And it was a team coming together to be there for one of their own in his hour of need.
Now that’s courage.
Our hearts go out to Serey Die, his family, and the entire Ivory Coast team, which surely shares in his suffering.