- Associated Press - Sunday, May 21, 2017

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 “stiff 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,’ ‘stiff 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.”

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