This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis met with the Sampdoria football team and gave the following impromptu address to the managers and players present:
Greeting of the Holy Father
Thank you for your visit!
I have not prepared an address. I would just like to say that I am happy, and to tell you that sport, and football too, is a path of life, of maturity, and of holiness. You can go ahead; but always as a team, always as a team, this is important.
I want to underline to things, and this is the first: as a team, you do everything as a team. The most beautiful victories are those you win as a team. At home, if a footballer plays only for himself, we say “he eats the ball”: he takes the ball for himself and doesn’t look at the others. No. Always as a team.
The second thing: do not lose the amateur spirit, that is, amateur sport, sport that is born precisely from the vocation to do it. Other interests are secondary, but the important thing is that it remains amateur in spirit.
I wish you all this. I will pray for you, and I ask you to pray for me. And now I give you all my blessing.