Latest Stories

Pope to Rio youth: Jesus better than World Cup

Pope Francis receives a Flamengo soccer jersey with his name on it from soccer coach Zico in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

RIO DE JANEIRO  — Pope Francis spoke the language of Brazil’s soccer-mad youth Saturday, telling them that being a good Catholic is like training to play soccer. Only he added a seemingly blasphemous twist, telling them Jesus offers them “something more than the World Cup.”

In the land of Pele that will host the World Cup in 2014, the joke might have gone over poorly coming from a pope from Argentina, Brazil’s nemesis on the pitch.

But the crowd on Copacabana beach for the World Youth Day vigil cheered with delight.

“In order to enjoy soccer, you’ve got to have beer, you’ve got to have beautiful women and maybe drugs. How many beer cans do you see around here?” said Douglas Junior Segatini, a 35-year-old nurse from Sao Paulo state and “lifelong fan” of the Santos soccer team. “None, and that’s because Christ is better than any alcohol, better than any drug, better than any match.”

Francis is a lifelong fan of the Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo and has been a member (ID No. 88235) since 2008.

On this trip he has added to his already sizeable collection of soccer jerseys given to him by the faithful.

When he gets back to Rome, he’ll be treated to a friendly on Aug. 14 between Argentina and Italy organized in honor of his election.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Church , Football , Pope Francis , Rio , Rio de Janeiro. , Soccer , World Cup

  • kim koh

    roman catholic is totally different from Christianity..

    • nestorD

      KIM KOH’S STATEMENT IS BETTER THAN THE POPE’S. FACT: CHRISTIANITY in his mind has no HISTORY..while ours has. OUR FAITH IS FAR FROM PERFECT for we are all NOT ANGELS and just human beings… WHILE KIM KOH thought his claim is a statement of christian

      • juan cruz

        Oh Yeshhhhh!?

    • juan cruz

      Then, prove it bro bro!

      • kim koh

        read the Bible and you will know…

      • juan cruz

        So, you ‘re a pious person isn’t ? I guess you’ve read the words “spread the words of God” from the bible itself. Did I hurt you upon hearing God’s words? What’s wrong with it buddy? Please let me know.


    >>>Pope to Rio youth: Jesus better than World Cup<<<

    SABI naman daw ng World Cup players, "We are better than your best!" :)

    • nestorD

      ano raw? ha ha ha sino may sabi? he heh e

      • UrHONOR

        Si Messi daw!

    • juan cruz

      That’s what they think. Remember the engineers who built the great Titanic ship? Even God cannot sink this ship. Then if it is true, how come the first voyage of the newly build ship failed to reach its first voyage from England to New York and just sunk like toy in Atlantic coast!? The Bittles too! They said they are greater and well known than Jesus Christ. Then what happen next!?

      • UrHONOR

        SOCCER ang pinag-uusapan.

      • juan cruz

        What ever the game is… The Holy Pope is there. Did I offended you with God words in which I have spoken?

      • UrHONOR

        YOU ain’t nothing but an extraneous hound dog fed with WHATEVERS by holey whatever. Shove your god words up your arse….where YOUR s2pd god resides.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Magnitude 6.7 quake off British Columbia coast
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace