- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis welcomed the victorious Bayern Munich team to the Vatican after its 7-1 Champions League rout of Roma, telling the players Wednesday they “played a wonderful game” and receiving a signed jersey and ball in return.

CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge said it was “a great honor” for the German club and announced Bayern would donate to Francis one million euros in proceeds from a future friendly match for charitable purposes.

Rumminegge told Francis it would be up to him to use the money “to help people in need wherever they are in the world and regardless of their faith,” the team’s website reported.

The soccer-mad Francis has received several visiting teams and has a collection of signed jerseys. The one presented Wednesday was a No. 1 with “Francis” across the back.

The Bayern website quoted Francis as admitting to “surprise” at the club’s victory margin over Roma the night before. And it said Francis also revealed during the audience that he had been in Mexico to see Rummenigge play in the 1986 World Cup.

The Vatican released no details about the meeting other than to say it took place before the pope’s Wednesday general audience.



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