Vatican City, May 16, 2017 / 11:23 am
Two opposing Italian football teams came together on Tuesday to meet in a private audience with Pope Francis, where he encouraged the Coppa Italia finalists to be upstanding role models of virtue, especially to the youth.
"I would like to reflect, briefly, on the importance of sport and consider the fascination it exerts and the impact of professional football on people, especially young people, towards whom you have a responsibility," Pope Francis told the Italian football teams May 16. The staff, coaches, and players of both teams were present during the papal audience.
"Those who are considered 'champions' easily become role models. Therefore, every match is a test of balance, of self-mastery, of respect for the rules."
"He, who through his behavior, puts all of this into practice, provides a good example for his followers, and this is what I wish for each of you: to be witnesses of loyalty, honesty, harmony and humanity," the Holy Father continued.