The FIFA Ballon d’Or Footballer of the Year 2012, given to Lionel Messi for an unprecedented fourth year running, left me wondering about the roads to success of the three nominees – Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi.
Two of the three candidates are noted for their humility and because the news is exclusively around what they do on the pitch with the ball. The other one is quite the opposite, trying to grab the spotlight at all times and getting in the news through his statements in addition to his play.
Two of them are part of what may be the best football team ever, noted for its incredible teamwork, where nobody – including the best player in the world – gets a star treatment. The other one has changed teams often in search of better conditions.
The three of them are highly successful, and we could easily attribute their success to the distinctive trait we have noted. In one case, pride; in the other ones, humility.
We can extrapolate this division to the rest of football players in the world, to all sportsmen, politicians, businessmen, and so on. People reach success stepping on or working with others – alone or together.
Which successful men and women are we most attracted to – the humble or the proud? Which ones are more useful in a group or in society, or in leaving a lasting legacy behind?