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Football, like life, requires thinking of others, Pope tells Villarreal team

AS Roma's forward Francesco Totti vies for the ball with Villarreal's Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante during the UEFA Europa League football match (Photo: Getty)

Spanish football team Villarreal had an audience with Pope Francis ahead of their Europa League match against Roma last night.

The team won the game 1-0 but crashed out of the league anyway because they had lost the first leg 4-0.

Francis told the players inside the Apostolic Palace that “football, like other sports, mirrors life and society.”

Francis also stressed the importance of playing as a team, adding that “when you start thinking only about yourself and forget your teammates, we in Argentina call those types of players someone who likes ‘to eat the ball’ alone.”

Francis, a lifelong fan of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, has had frequent meetings with football players from around the world.