Friday May 2 2014
'Players, you're in the spotlight'

Pope Francis has urged footballers to be ‘true sportsmen’ after he met the Napoli and Fiorentina squads this morning.

The Pontiff met the two teams ahead of tomorrow’s Coppa Italia Final at Stadio Olimpico.

And the Argentine leader of the Catholic Church, who is known to be a big fan of the game, has asked all players to recognise their responsibility.

“Football around the world is a social event which requires great responsibility on the part of the players and Coaches,” he told the gathered media throng at the Vatican.

“If economic factors prevail then it is likely to pollute everything we love about the game.

“We must restore dignity to sporting events – players, you are in the spotlight.

“You all have a great responsibility. I urge you all to be true sportsmen.”