February 15, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The Spanish soccer team Atletico Madrid made an appearance at pope's general audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall. Benedict XVI greeted the team during his discourse in Spanish.
“I cordially greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, especially the members of Club Atlético de Madrid.”
Afterward, Benedict XVI greeted each member of the team as well as the archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Rouco Varela. Atletico Madrid gave the pope replica jersey and the two trophies they won in recent years.
“The jersey from our team”
“We are partners of WYD, the World Youth Day.”
Atletico Madrid president
“There's been a blessing for everything. To play well, to score goals and that people will see us at the stadium.”
“It's more than an impression, it's emotional for us, me especially. It was a very nice moment. Never in my life did I think I would be so close to such an important person. And I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible.”
This is the the third time the club has met with the pope. The previous visits were in 1997 and 2003. The Spanish team is visiting Rome to play a game as part of the Europe League against the Italian team Lazio.
- AM / CTV