February 20, 2010.
The annual world soccer tournament known as the Clericus Cup is back. The Vatican has organized the sporting event for the last 4 years. The teams are normally seminarians or priests.
The championship aims to help priests learn values such as perseverance, respect and the importance of sports to be able to relate to young athletes.
Msgr. Claudio Paganini
Presidente Clericus Cup
“The Church is close to those in the sports world, who work hard, and train, make sacrifices to show that through sports, common rules are shared and new friendships are made”.
Msgr. Josef Clemens
Secretario, Pontificio Consejo para los laicos
“I think that if adolescents learn the great values sports have to offer, then they will carry with them those values wherever they go”.
Every year the sporting event grows a little more international. Now there are 373 players of 65 different nationalities. For the first time the Mexican team is seen as the strongest, with 49 players. Italians come in second with 45 players followed by the Brazilian team and the U.S. team.
That’s why the biggest rivalry is between the Mexican team and the Italian team. They’ve been training for months. In fact,
“We’re not worried of losing, we’re scared of losing our friendship. But as you can see, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“No we’re not worried. We just want to play and have fun together as brothers.”
“We do this to get to know each other better, to live together as brothers.”
The final championship game is slated for May 22nd and will be part of the World Cup’s pre-games in South Africa. That’s why it the teams also hope to serve as an example of the unity between athletes and professional soccer players.