Rome Newsroom, Jan 20, 2021 / 13:00 pm
Pope Francis met on Wednesday with players of the northern Italian soccer club Spezia after they eliminated the fourth-seeded A.S. Roma from the country’s annual cup competition.
“First of all, congratulations, because yesterday you were good. Congratulations!” the pope told them at an audience in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Jan. 20.
Spezia Calcio, a professional soccer club based in the town of La Spezia, joined the top Italian league Serie A for the first time in its history in 2020.
The 13th-seeded Spezia’s 4-2 win on Tuesday in the Coppa Italia against Roma -- one of Rome’s two big clubs -- puts them in next week’s quarter-finals, where they will play against Napoli.
Pope Francis said, “in Argentina, we dance the tango,” pointing out that the music is based on “two-by-four,” or two-quarter time.
Referring to their result against Roma, he added: “Today you are 4 to 2, and that’s good. Congratulations and keep going!”
“And thank you for this visit,” he said, “because I like to see the effort of young men and women in sport, because sport is a wonder, sport ‘brings out’ all the best that we have inside. Continue with this, because it leads you to a great nobility. Thank you for your witness.”
Complimenti e coraggio!— Spezia Calcio (@acspezia) January 20, 2021
Con queste parole, @Pontifex_it ha accolto lo #SpeziaCalcio al gran completo, ricevuto questa mattina in udienza privata nelle stanze vaticane
➡️ https://t.co/saNErz4HU4 pic.twitter.com/87Rc8jLXWZ