13 Notable Catholic soccer (football!) stars in the 2018 World Cup

 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

The multiple Ballon d’Or winner prays before matches, collects rosaries sent by fans, and unlike many players, doesn’t get tattoos as he’s a frequent blood donor. 

 

3. James Rodriguez, Colombia

The attacking midfielder has a tattoo of Jesus on his shin, and is quick to share on social media that his success is all down to God.

 

4. Sergio Aguero, Argentina 

The striker will join Messi on the pilgrimage, but has added a challenge by declaring they’ll both run the distance to San Nicolas. 

AP

 

5. Andres Iniesta, Spain 

Before the 2010 World Cup, the midfielder promised that if his team won, he would take a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, the “Way of St. James.”

 

6. Sergio Ramos, Spain

The central defender has a tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his upper left arm. 

 

7. Gianluigi Buffon, Italy 

The popular 40-year-old goalkeeper made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia after the Euro 2012 championships. 

 

8. Radamel Falcao, Colombia 

The very devout striker studies the Bible and prays before each game, and also tries to get his teammates involved, too. On scoring, he lifts his jersey to reveal a t-shirt saying: “With Jesus you’ll never be alone.”

AP

 

9. Manuel Neuer, Germany 

The outstanding goalie supports a Catholic group that helps combat child poverty and a youth group led by Amigonian friars, a branch of the Capuchins. 

 

10. Olivier Giroud, France 

The devout Catholic striker has a tattoo of Psalm 23 (in Latin): “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,” and has also shared how religion brings him peace. 

 

11. Vedran Corluka, Croatia 

Fleeing his native Bosnia during the war, the center back returned to help fund and rebuild his village church.He also wears a wristband with Catholic icons. 

 

12. Edinson Cavani, Uraguay 

In an interview, the striker referred to himself as “an athlete for Christ,” saying: “I play for Him, to give Him glory, to thank Him for giving me the ability to play football.” 

AP

13. Jakub Błaszczykowski, Poland 

As a child, tragedy struck this winger when his father murdered his mother, but he remains firm in his faith and was ambassador of the World Youth Day in 2016

 

SOURCE: https://aleteia.org/2018/06/13/13-notable-catholic-soccer-football-stars-in-the-2018-world-cup/