x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

An inspiration to us all

Bruno Metsu's reputation as a vivid and memorable football manager is further burnished by his inspiring response to a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

One of the key jobs of a football manager is to inspire his team to greater effort on the pitch. But there are times when that brief applies equally off the field, in the bigger, vastly more important game of life.

So it is with former Al Ain and Al Wasl coach Bruno Metsu, who was rushed to hospital in Dubai last October after collapsing, and was told that he was terminally ill with cancer.

In tackling the disease, Metsu has become a memorable inspiration not just to his players but to the wider football community and to us all.

In an interview published in The National this week, Metsu said: "Often as a coach, you tell your players 'today is the match of your life'. But no, it isn't! Today, yes, I am playing the match of my life".

He spoke of his admiration for French footballer and liver transplant survivor Eric Abidal, and his determination to defy the odds.

Metsu has already survived well beyond doctors' expectations. He has received messages from football superstars and ordinary fans, including supporters of rival teams. We join them in wishing him well and sincerely thanking him for leading by example.