The Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes organized the third soccer Match for Peace at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on the evening of November 14.
Before the match, Pope Francis met the soccer players, organizers, and their families in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
The Pope thanked the athletes for sowing seeds of peace in a world marked by war.
The Pope said, “Peace is the fruit of gestures like theirs, namely "of closeness, friendship, the outstretched hand, always," and "not with the stone in your hand to throw it."
These "seeds of peace," he said, may be small, but "are capable of changing the world."
“Thank you for this that you do, for today's game, because you say, 'We want peace', in a world that always looks for wars and destruction.”
The match took place with the motto "We Play for Peace," participated by many renowned players in the world of football.
The two previous events were held, with the same motto, on September 1, 2014, and October 12, 2016.
This year's edition pays homage to the late football giant Diego Maradona. He joined in the first and second Matches for Peace and passed away in November 2020.
Pope Francis’ close friend, Adrian Pallarols made the trophy for the Match for Peace.
Pope Francis introduced the small sculpture of a silver olive tree made by silversmith Pallarols.
Pallarols said that the silver olive tree is a symbol that "planting and taking care of a plant" lay the roots for "a project of life."
The Pope and others signed on the plate at the back of the sculpture in remembrance of football giant Diego Armando Maradona.
World-renowned soccer players played for free to promote peace.
"The meaning of this encounter is to help raise money for the poor, to take care of the children that Pope Francis always calls to help, to get together, to see what you can do for others, what you can provide, and what you can do, to get a better life," Pallarols said.
Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes is a worldwide network of schools in educational projects created for children in impoverished areas in the city of Buenos Aires.
It was initiated by the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
Italian television broadcasted the match.
The players who participated in the event were Ronaldinho, Buffon, Caniggia, Ciro Ferrara, Diego Maradona Jr., Hristo Stoickov, Nicolas Burdisso, Martin Demichelis, Daniel Osvaldo, Eric Abidal, Henrikh Mjitaryán, Diego Perroti, Ciro Immobile, Vincent Candela, Antonio Di Natale, Zaccardo, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Ivan Rakitic , Legrottaglie, Roman Weidenfeller, Zé Maria, Ricardo López Felipe, Simone Perrota, Fabio Cannavaro, Paulo Futre, Bruno Alves, Roberto Tucu Pereyra, Pablo Zavaleta, Mirsolav Klose, Shota Arveladze (Ruso), Hugo Almeida, Robert Pires, Gökan Inler, Fabio Galante, Antonio Benarribo, Alejand Chori, Dominguez, Sebastien Frey, Zambrotta (entrenador). - With inputs from Vatican News
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.