It would, if we are honest, have been a remarkable achievement if Australia had won Peru, as the Australian football team asked the Holy Father for prayers.
Just one day before their “do or die” game with Peru, the Socceroos went to see the Pope with a last minute attempt seeking for a divine miracle in Russia.
In order to facilitate their prayers adequately, the team’s representatives offered a sacrificial gift of an Australian football jersey to the pope, embroidered with the words “Holy Father” ahead of their clash with Peru, but that didn’t stop Peru winning the game.
The Pontiff was handed the yellow football shirt by the Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove at the Vatican a day before Socceroos game with Peru.
Speaking through the translator, the South American-born pope asked: “Do I have to put in on?” And Sir Peter replied: “No, no, no. Not now. When you’re watching the game”.
It appears Australia was too late for the miracle, because last year, the pope was presented with a football jersey of the Peru national team by their former President, Pablo Kuczynski. Peru won the Group C World Cup game 2-0 against Australia, and as a result commentators are saying that the Pope must be responding to prayer requests
on first-come-first-serve basis.
Pope Francis is a big football fan, with San Lorenzo in his native Argentina being his favourite football team. Over the years, the Pope hosted teams and players at the Vatican while also being the recipient of a handful of personalised jerseys from football clubs and national teams all over the world. Here are the photos of some of the collection of Pope Francis football shirts.