ROME (AP) — 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 “tough 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,’ ‘tough 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.”