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Sala Stampa

The Holy Father receives the German national football team, 14.11.2016

This morning Pope Francis received in audience the current world football champions, the German team, led by their captain Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper for Bayern München and the national squad (Deutsche Fuβballnationalmannschaft) and accompanied by the president of the German Football Federation, Reinhardt Grindel.

“I have often heard it said that your victories are team victories (in German, Mannschaft), and for this reason the Mannschaft has become a common definition for your group. Indeed, professional sport requires not only great discipline and personal sacrifice, but also respect for others and team spirit. This leads you to success as a Mannschaft and at the same time leads you to recognise your responsibility beyond the football field, especially with regard to the young who often look to you as role models”.

The Pope also remarked that the players are engaged in very important social initiatives, such as their support for the “Sternsinger” (Singers of the Star), who offer concrete aid to children and young people in the poorest countries. This initiative, he said, “shows how it is possible to overcome together barriers that seem insurmountable and which penalise the needy and marginalised. In this way too, you contribute to the building of a more just and fraternal society”.

The Holy Father thanked the team for their visit, wishing them all the best in their sporting and social activities, and asked them to pray for him. He offered his heartfelt blessing to the players and their families.