Claudio Taffarel

In 1994 Claudio Taffarel was the center of the world's attention for a brief moment. Half the world watched as Taffarel defended the goal for Brazil against Italy in the World Cup final. In overtime, Brazil prevailed. Much celebration ensued, but Taffarel speaks surprisingly of the next day: "The following day for me was normal. I know that what is passed, is passed. More so because during the game the certainty of victory was so great that when it happened, we found it to be normal. God wanted us to really seek Him, ask Him. We asked. He gave."

In that statement is the key message of Taffarel, a follower of Jesus Christ: Followers of Christ can live victoriously, without fear of defeat! There may be losses on the field, but the security of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is greater than any victory or defeat.

Taffarel's goal is to steadily, joyfully walk through life serving Jesus Christ and encouraging others to do the same. In victory or defeat, he trusts that Christ is leading.

Taffarel has faced unemployment, almost lost his wife after she gave birth to one of their two children, lost his father, been involved in a fight with fans, been criticized severely by fans. Asked if it angered God that he had to face all of that, he said, "I had already forgotten about all the difficulties. Actually, they were trials. In these difficult moments God wanted to see whether we were strong."

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow — so Taffarel tries to be the same.

"Since I invited Jesus Christ to live in my heart, I started to count on the strength, the love and the power of God in the most important moments of my life," says Taffarel, who gave his life to Jesus in 1988 under the influence of Jorginho. "Not everything is a sea of roses in the life of a follower of Christ, and mine is no different. But in the tough time, in the time of betrayal between coaches and directors, in the time of missing the ball and the mockery of the fans, in the time that I lost my father or I saw my wife hanging between life and death, and in the time of catching the decisive penalty (against Italy), I noticed the importance of not being alone. God never left me alone."