Pope Francis met in the Vatican with the current world football champions. The German team and coaching staff made a stop in Rome before taking on Italy in San Siro, Milan.
The president of the German Football Federation, Reinhard Grindel, delivered a few words on behalf of the team.
Then, the pope thanked them for their visit and congratulated them for their work as a team.
"I have heard many times that your victories are team victories. That is why your
'team' has become the definition of working together. In fact, professional sports require not only discipline and sacrifice, but also respect for one's neighbor. Team spirit."
He asked them to remember that their way of acting also affects the younger people, who admire and imitate them.
"At the same time you have to recognize your responsibility as players on the football field, especially for younger ones, who take you as an example."
The players gave him a signed and framed world championship jersey, and Pope Francis joked with them.
They also presented him with a mural painted by children soccer players in Germany, who represent different countries and religions.