Sampdoria had the honour of an audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City on Friday, with club president Massimo Ferrero presenting the pontiff with a commemorative Blucerchiati jersey and pennant.
Pope Francis shared a few words with the Doria delegation.
“Sport and football are a journey of life, maturity and sanctity,” he said. “You can move forward, but never alone. Always as a team, always as a team – that’s important. You do everything as a team – that’s the first thing. The best victories are those achieved as a team. Some players play for themselves, taking the ball and not looking at anyone else. No, always as a team. The second thing is never to lose sight of the amateur side of things – amateur sport, sport that stems from a love of doing it. Other interests are secondary – it’s important that the amateur side to it remains. I wish all of that for you. I will pray for you, and I ask you to pray for me. And now I will bless you all.”
(Photo U.C. Sampdoria)