Monday, December 18, 2006

Vatican Soccer Team?

From adnkronosinternational:
The Vatican could soon have a top football team, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has said. "I am not ruling out that the Vatican could in the future have a soccer team of great value able to compete with (Italian top Serie A league teams) Roma, Inter, Genoa and Sampdoria," Bertone, the Vatican's equivalent of a prime minister said on Sunday. The cardinal, a staunch supporter of fallen Serie A giants Juventus - which was relegated to Serie B this season following a match-fixing scandal - is a football expert who used to comment soccer matches for a local television when he was archbishop of the port city of Genoa from 2003 until his appointment as secretary of state this year.

Bertone had already hinted a few weeks ago at the Vatican's football ambitions.

"If, for example, we were to recruit Brazilian players from our pontifical universities we could set up a great team," Bertone was quoted as saying by Rome daily La Repubblica. The cardinal added that the Vatican could also discover young talents in parish teams saying that "in the 1990 World Cup I noticed that 42 players from different national teams originally came from parish recreation centres."

Bertone is not the only soccer enthusiast at the Vatican.

Another cardinal, Fiorenzo Angelini, a supporter of Serie A team Roma, is a commentator of premier league matches.

The uniforms should definitely be patterned after the Swiss Guards. Some great team names come to mind: the Crusaders, the Inquisition, the Albino Monks, the Autos da Fe, the Flagellati, the Fighting Papists, and – of course – the Cardinals. Lots of good possibilities. The mascot could be a guy dressed up as Torquemada. Interesting cheers, too. “Anathema sit! Anathema sit! Burn’em at the stake!” I will leave the really good ones to the Latin scholars among us.