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Stoppage Time: A dose of perspective for the soccer world

This time of the year is all about winning titles, securing European places and the desperate struggle to avoid relegation.

A win over a bitter rival can seem like the ultimate high, while defeat has been known to plunge fans into the depths of despair.

But this past weekend served as a reminder that although getting the right result can at times feel like the most important thing in the world, there are things in life much bigger than the game.

Just one month ago, Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the field during his team's FA Cup match with Tottenham after suffering cardiac arrest.

The 23-year-old was only kept alive by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as attempts were made to revive him with a defibrillator.

Muamba's heart took 78 minutes to start working on its own, but after remaining in a London hospital for the past month, Bolton manager Owen Coyle has revealed the midfielder is now able to walk and he was released from hospital on Monday as he continues his recovery.

The incident seemed to bring the soccer world a bit closer as tributes and well-wishes poured in from all across the globe. Muamba's story has now become an inspiration.

But the news was far less positive in Italy this past Saturday as Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini was not as fortunate.

Morosini was playing in a Serie B match at Pescara when he collapsed on the field after suffering cardiac arrest. And after being rushed to a local hospital, he was pronounced dead.

The 25-year-old never regained consciousness after collapsing despite attempts to resuscitate him, and all matches over the weekend in Italy were postponed in tribute.

Play will go on this weekend and people will do their best to return to normalcy, even if that means agonizing over a soccer match.

Sometimes it isn't about playing at the highest level or playing your best. Just simply playing is enough.

That was the case on Sunday for Paraguay international Salvador Cabanas, who made his return to competitive action with a third-division side in Paraguay after being shot in the head 27 months ago.

The incident occurred in a Mexico City bar during a disagreement, and the 31- year-old still had the bullet lodged in his brain when he took the field on Sunday.

Cabanas had accumulated 10 goals in 44 international appearances for Paraguay and was expected to be a key member of its 2010 World Cup team before being shot, which robbed him of a chance to perform on the biggest stage in the sport.

But the 40 minutes he played on Sunday before being substituted for had to feel better than starting a World Cup final.

Wins may count for three points, but as Cabanas showed on Sunday, sometimes the final score doesn't always tell the whole story.

This past weekend was filled with emotional moments, some tragic, some inspirational.

The next month will contain jubilant celebrations and heartbreaking defeats. Penalty calls will be scrutinized and fans will hang on every kick of the ball as their team tries to claw its way out of relegation, climb to the summit of the league or something in between.

It's important those moments are kept in the proper perspective.