Rome, Italy, May 22, 2012 / 23:29 pm
The Vatican’s sports office has paid tribute to Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after the Catholic soccer star gave credit to God for his team’s UEFA Champions League victory.
“The Vatican and the Holy Father is always very interested in such athletes as they are role models for others,” Father Kevin Lixey, the director of the Vatican’s Office of Church and Sport, told CNA in a May 21 interview.
He explained that “if they give thanks to God for their talents, it is good for the young people who admire these star athletes.”
Drogba and his Chelsea teammates clinched European soccer’s ultimate prize against Germany’s Bayern Munich on May 19, with the Ivory Coast striker proving to be the hero of the night for the London club.
Drogba’s heroics began with him evening the score at 1-1 with only two minutes left on the clock. The game was still a draw after extra time expired, leading to a shoot out in which Drogba drove home the winning goal.
On both occasions the African player celebrated by blessing himself with the Sign of the Cross.
“It was fate, I believe a lot in destiny. I pray a lot. It was written a long time ago. God is wonderful. This team is amazing,”34-year-old Drogba told the media after the game.