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Football is greater than goals and titles - Muamba, Morosini and Di Natale

The reason for football’s huge appeal is not really the football itself.

We enjoy seeing our team win a game, securing a title, or avoiding relegation.

But football is much bigger than that – and it’s because of its human stories, the union of feelings when something goes well and even more so when something goes wrong.

A clear example is the massive support for Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba and his family, after the player collapsed at White Hart Lane during his side’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

We now all know about that shocking moment and what happened immediately after. The most important thing is that Muamba continues with his miraculous recovery - and it has even been suggested that he will return to training within a month.

The most amazing part of that story, apart from Muamba’s recovery, was the world of football’s response, symbolised in the moment when Gary Cahill scored a goal then showed a t-shirt displaying the words: “Pray 4 Muamba”.

Di Natale and Italian football’s gesture for Morosini’s disabled sister

Unfortunately, there was a similar story last weekend, but it didn’t have a happy ending. Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed during his side’s Serie B game against Pescara. He couldn’t be revived and died before arriving to the hospital.

Now, Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale (pictured) – Morosini’s former team-mate – has given us one more reason to believe in the world’s greatest sport.

His friendship with Morosini, who he played with in Udinese’s youth teams, has led to him taking responsibility for Morosini’s handicapped sister Carla Maria. Morosini and his sister were orphaned as children and the Livorno defender’s main aim in life was not to play football, it was to look after his sister.

Destiny has deprived Morosini of this humane task. Now Carla Maria finds herself all alone. But she suddenly has a new family. Di Natale – and the Italian football community – will take care of her.

Udinese is going to take responsibility in a campaign called ‘Udinese for life’ to offer her medical care in a continued and lasting way. It’s expected that other Italian clubs will join this initiative.

‘Full of life’

Di Natale defined Morosini as “an exceptional team-mate, full of life”. Despite his responsibilities, Morosini was fully committed to his team.

Now, Di Natale and Italian football want to celebrate Morosini’s life and continue to provide the care and support that his sister needs.

This story is perhaps the best example that it’s time for us to realise that we can’t measure the greatness of football in titles, players, transfer fees or which club has the most money.

The greatest football stories of this season have been Muamba’s recovery, and the reaction of Di Natale and Italian football reaction to Morosini’s death.

The key factor in what makes football the great sport it is its human side and the union of feelings it promotes.

By Ivan Molina

Twitter: @IvanMolinaC

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