(I'm hoping for a photograph of these two prayer giants watching the match together at the Vatican, but will probably be disappointed. The real soccer fan we had in the papacy was Saint John the Great.)
I remember a photo of St. John the Great as young kid with his hair all ruffled holding a soccer ball in "Witness to Hope." That adorable image stayed in my heart. I didn't realize that his talent in soccer actually served God at a young age. Wikipedia states:
"Karol's youth was influenced by numerous contacts with the vibrant and prospering Jewish community of Wadowice. He often played football (soccer), as a goalkeeper, and was a supporter of Polish club Cracovia. School football games were often organised between teams of Jews and Catholics, and due to the anti-Jewish feelings of the time, there was a potential for events to sometimes turn "nasty." Karol, however, cheerfully offered himself as a substitute goalkeeper on the Jewish side if they were short of players."
Soccer can be seen as "just a sport", unimportant in the larger context of world events and deep spirituality. Yet I love how God can use all things to his glory.