Before playing a difficult match at the Europa League, Villarreal soccer players visited the pope in the Vatican.
The pontiff did not promise that he would pray for the team to beat Rome, after they lost 0-4 against them in the first game, but he did speak about the team spirit they should live out in their daily lives.
He told them sports are an image of life and society, because life is a team game where one must sacrifice for others. He also told them to keep in mind how many young people watch them on the field.
"Many people, especially young people, admire you and observe you. They want to be like you. Through your professionalism, you are transmitting a way of living to those who follow you, especially to the future generations."
Finally, he told them, to remember all the people who helped them get to the top. Just like in life, he told them that in soccer they must be truly grateful and learn to recognize the help many people gave to them, people who will always remain anonymous to the soccer fans.