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New book gathers testimonies from famous people about soccer and sports

2016-08-05

Pope Francis again speaks about his favorite sport: soccer.

He does so in this latest book titled, "Soccer with Soul,” written by former Ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See. In it, the Pope reveals some tidbits, like the Swiss Guard that always keeps him in the loop about the results of the soccer tournament. Although he is thousands of miles away from his country of birth, Pope Francis still keeps track of his beloved athletic team, San Lorenzo.

The Pope says that for him the sport is like life. It has its rules and can bring out the worst and the best out of the players on the field.

CÉSAR MAURICIO VELÁSQUEZ
Author, "Soccer with Soul”
"Without a doubt, the way to get closest to God must be put to the test. You must put all of those virtues in one soccer match; testing patience, perseverance, faith, charity, and knowing how to win and how to lose. So the paths that lead to God are the ways that also lead to a good soccer match."

The Pope stressed that the importance of the sport is what creates a chance meeting between the rich and poor and believers of different religions. They must all put their differences aside in order to achieve a common denominator: to score a goal. "Soccer with Soul" repeats what the Pope said before: that soccer is a perfect medicine against individualism.

POPE FRANCIS
September 4, 2014
"And this sport is important because it teaches the players about teamwork. Sports help prevent selfishness.”

Cesar Mauricio Velasquez also interviews seven other major veteran athletes like Alfredo Di Stefano, Javier Zanetti and Andres Escobar. In fact, Velasquez was able to speak to the Colombian defender a few hours before he was killed due to scoring his own goal. It cost his team to be eliminated the 1994 World Cup.

CÉSAR MAURICIO VELÁSQUEZ
Author, "Soccer with Soul”
"I would point out that these seven figures had three things in common. The first, they fought for what they wanted and have suffered along the way. Second, they have had constant and steady work despite their many shortcomings and mistakes. And the third, they have been grateful to the people who have helped them."

The athletes shed some light into their personal lives and the value of family. This has helped them keep their feet on the ground at times of success to overcome their painful professional failures. Lessons that can be applied to the everyday life of ordinary people.


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