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Rome Reports

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President of Italian soccer team gifts Pope Francis golden foot to “kick injustice”

The President of the soccer team of Naples, Italy, Aurelio De Laurentiis, gifted Pope Francis with a miniature, gold replica of a foot. "I give him this foot to give a kick to all the injustices," said De Laurentiis. The Pope jokingly replied, "Where should I give the kick?"

As a gesture from the team that won the Italian soccer championship last week, the President presented two jerseys to the Pope with his name and the number 10 on the back.

Giovanni Simeone, the only Argentinian on the winning team, gave Pope Francis a soccer ball signed by all his teammates.

The Pope also blessed an olive tree that will be planted at the soccer stadium in Naples. The President did not miss the opportunity to thank the Pope for his efforts: "Since you can't come to the stadium to plant the olive tree, I hope we can have a match between Napoli and the team of your heart, Argentina.”

The olive tree represents peace and is the symbol of the Scholas initiative, promoted by the Pope. This educational initiative seeks to promote a world of greater solidarity by bringing together young people from different religions and cultures around the world. 

Members of the initiative were accompanied by professionals and businessmen from all over the world. The last meeting included mayors from Latin America as well as the President and a player of the Naples soccer team.