Interview with Jorginho

Winning the World Cup is fantastic, as former Brazil star Jorginho tells 2K Plus interviewer Terry Edmondson – but knowing Jesus is even better!

How did you feel when you were called up to play for Brazil for the first time in 1987?

It was a big surprise for me as I thought my chance had gone. The squad of 23 players had already been chosen and I was not amongst them, but the right fullback got injured and they only had one, so they called me. Oh, I was so happy; I phoned my family and told them I was going to play for Brazil.

It was a great joy for me.

What was it like to get to the World Cup final in 1994?

It was a great time for me, a super memory. Unfortunately I had to go off injured after only 18 minutes, Cafu came on and has stayed in the team until today. I am very pleased for him because he is a super and honest friend. But even if I had stayed on the pitch, it wouldn’t have changed the result and it would still have gone to penalties. Football means so much to us in Brazil and we hadn’t won for such a long time – the last time was 1970 – so after 24 years we had won the World Cup again and there was a huge celebration in Brazil.

What was it like having to watch the penalty shoot-out from the touchline?

Yes, it is difficult when you can’t do anything, I was already off the pitch, so all I could do was pray: “God, do your will.” That was our wish at the World Cup, we didn’t want to pray for God to give us the World Cup, that would have been unfair as there were lots of other players who wanted to win it, but we wanted God to give us peace and the motivation in our hearts to make friends amongst the players. It really was great, we lived like a family and then we did it.

I missed the last penalty because I had my eyes shut, then everybody started to celebrate. I said no, Babetto has got to take a penalty yet, but they said no, we are already World Champions, then everybody went crazy.

What motivates you as a footballer?

There were, of course, a lot of things that motivated me as a footballer – I wanted to famous, I wanted a completely different life for my family.  Of course I wanted to earn lots of money and a lovely house for my mother. That was my dream as a child.

But I came to know Jesus Christ – I was only 21, my career had started three years before when I was 18, and so I had a great new motivation. I played as the Bible says, whatever you do, do it for the Lord. So I said, “Lord, I want to make you happy with my life, with my sport, my career” and I think I have made God smile. I have also made mistakes, but I think I have made God smile.

How did you come to believe in Jesus?

I had witnessed my brother’s experience. He was 25 years old and an alcoholic but Jesus changed his life completely – that really impressed me. He gave me a copy of the Gideon New Testament, which I read slowly and was really moved by it.

I saw the miracle that God had done in my brother’s life, and I decided that I desperately needed this peace in my heart, too, and so made the decision – it was May 1986 – the best decision of my life.

Who is going to win the World Cup?

I hope Brazil, but it won’t be easy. History shows that whenever the World Cup is held in Europe, a European team wins. Only Brazil have managed to break this sequence by winning in Sweden in 1958.

It is hard to say who will win; Brazil have a good chance as do Argentina, England, Italy or France. But I think Germany have the best chance, as they are at home.

Which matters more to you – following Jesus or winning the World Cup?

Jesus Christ is of course better, because when you win the World Cup, it lasts about a week, it is great and everybody wants your autograph, but slowly the success, like every success in life, fades away. God’s word, however, stays in our hearts and makes a huge difference to our families and lives.

I am convinced that life with Jesus gives me much more than if I won the World Cup 10 times, 20 times or even a thousand times.

Terry Edmondson is a reporter and translator with sports ministry 2K Plus -

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