.- The captain of the Milan soccer team Inter, Javier “Pupi” Zanetti, said this week, ‘I firmly believe that without Christ, man cannot live in fullness.”
After this week’s Wednesday General Audience, at which Pope Benedict XVI greeted the soccer players from the Milan team and emphasized “the importance of moral values in sports in order to educate young people,” Zanetti gave the Pope an official Milan jersey with his name “Benedetto XVI” on the back.
“I have been a practicing Catholic since I was child,” Zanetti said. “The blessing of the Pope is another reason for us to understand our role as Christian witnesses, in our families, in sports, and our duty to help the less fortunate, especially children,” he told the AICA news agency.
“This has been an important day, this visit has been very emotional, and to shake the Pope’s hand is one of those things you remember forever,” Zanetti said. The team captain, together with his wife, directs the PUPI Foundation, which is dedicated to “returning faith, dignity and hope to children and their families who have social problems.”
The soccer players also gave the Pope an official Inter fan club gold card, a black and blue medallion—the team’s colors—a white medallion with a red cross, and an official book on the history of the soccer team.