Pope Francis described the late football icon Diego Armando Maradona as the poet during a press interview on the sport.
Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper “Gazzetta Dello Sport” that Maradona was like a poet on the stadium, and “he was a great hero who brought happiness to millions of people in Argentina and Naples (the stronghold of Napoli).”
“He was also a fragile man,” he added, referring to the health problems and drug troubles that accompanied the Argentine talent.
And Pope Francis, the Argentine, who loves football, continued that he prayed for the late and sent a rosary to his family accompanied by condolence words.
The Pope, who supports Argentine club San Lorenzo, explained during the interview the similarities between the sport and its beliefs, criticizing “rich heroes” who have become “idle and almost bureaucratic in their sport.”
He continued: “Personally, I think a little bit of hunger is the secret to never feeling full, to preserve this passion that dazzled them as children (athletes).”
He explained that sport is marked by the victories of those who “sweat their foreheads” over those who were born “and the talent in their pocket.”
Pope Francis considered that doping in the world of sport “is not just cheating, but rather a shorthand that denies dignity … and stealing the spark that God has granted, through his mysterious paths to some in a special way and a greater quantity .. a clean defeat is better than a dirty victory.”
The Pope emphasized that “no hero can be manufactured in the laboratory… This matter has happened, and we are not sure that it will not be repeated, even if we hope it will not happen! But with time, we will distinguish between the original talents and those that have been installed: the hero is born and develops through exercises.”