Incidents like the (in)famous Zinedine Zidane-Marco Materazzi headbutt (2006) or, more recently, the disgraceful Suarez-Chiellini bite often make the non-followers of FIFA World Cup wonder if the sport is all about being ruthless and cold-hearted.
However, this – as soccer fans would know well – is far from being true.
Where players like Suarez show zero respect to the sanctity of the game by hurting their rivals, there are great sportsmen like Brazil’s David Luiz and Colombia’s James Rodriguez as well who just gave the world this year’s most precious and inspirational World Cup moment.
After Brazil had won 2-1 against Colombia in their quarterfinal match on Friday, instead of celebrating the decisive victory with his team Luiz went straight up to his devastated and tearful opponent Rodriguez.
Luiz was shortly followed by teammate Dani Alves and both of them consoled Rodriguez who urged the entire crowd to cheer for his incredible World Cup performance this year – a record-breaking six goals.
Later, Luiz and Rodriguez also exchanged their jerseys. It is a long-time soccer tradition for rival teams to show respect for each other.
Such acts of great sportsmanship often have a great impact on the fans as well. For instance, a user on popular social media website Reddit made the following comment after watching Luiz’s emotional gesture:
“I was watching the match at a bar in Montreal, half the bar was Colombians and half were Brazilians. The Brazilians were chanting "Brazil" right up to this point, they went silent for a second, and starting chanting "Colombia" and applauding. It was touching and I could not help but smile even though defeat was still fresh.”
Hear-warming isn’t it?
Watch Luiz and Alves comforting Rodriguez in the Vine video below: