As a Youth, Pope Francis' Less-Than-Stellar Soccer Skills Earned Him the Nickname 'Stiff Leg' | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

As a Youth, Pope Francis' Less-Than-Stellar Soccer Skills Earned Him the Nickname 'Stiff Leg'

"When I was your age, I played soccer, but I wasn't 'bravo' at playing soccer"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    As a Youth, Pope Francis' Less-Than-Stellar Soccer Skills Earned Him the Nickname 'Stiff Leg'
    AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
    Pope Francis salutes children as he leaves the Casal Bernocchi Sporting center, in the outskirts of Rome, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

    Pope Francis has told children at an Italian sports center he didn't play soccer very well as a youth and was stuck with the nickname "stiff leg."

    An 11-year-old boy asked Francis during a parish visit in the Rome suburb of Acilia Sunday afternoon if he had played soccer as a child.

    Francis, a keen soccer fan in his native Argentina, said since he wasn't "bravo" he usually ended up playing goalie.

    The pope said: "When I was your age, I played soccer, but I wasn't 'bravo' at playing soccer, and where I come from, they call you 'pata dura,' 'stiff leg.'"

    He added: "I was a 'pata dura' and that's why I usually was the goalie, so I wouldn't have to move around."