The Vatican already has a women's soccer team

Although there are not many women in the Vatican, so the concierge has had to "sign" in the neighboring country (Italy), it has managed to form the first female soccer team of the Holy See.

They go out to warm up in an atypical cold night of the Roman May in the field of one of the sport centers near the Vatican, where the already famous Clericus Cup, the tournament of teams of priests and seminarians are played, and they laugh surprised to see the press .

They do not understand why all this interest in a group of women who meet once a week to train and play a game, explains EFE Danilo Zennaro, head of the association "Sport in Vaticano".

Although Zennaro understands that women's soccer for some years has aroused great interest and even more if played in the shadow of the dome of the Basilica of San Pedro, where of the 4,800 people who work for the Holy See only 750 are women.

The person in charge of the association "Sport in Vaticano" recognizes that the first question they ask when they know the existence of the female team is "if they play nuns" and defends that "there are not only nuns in Vatican", because the presence of lay workers in the Holy See it has increased considerably in recent years.

"Things have changed," he remarks.

And so it is observed when workers of the Vatican press room, employees of the supermarket or of the various dicasteries (the ministries) of the Holy See are playing football today under the command of coach Gianfranco Guadagnoli.

The head of the team and secretary of the "Women's Association in the Vatican", Susan Volpini, explains that everything was born "like a game" when in May of last year, during one of the initiatives for Vatican employees and their families, He organized a women's soccer match and this had a lot of echo, so it was thought that a team could be formed.

So far they have played only one internal tournament organized by the Vatican Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital and now it is planned that they will play several meetings in solidarity initiatives. "Because this is what interests us and not competition," he says.

It is formed by 60 percent of women who work in the Vatican while the rest are women or daughters of employees and range from 25 years to over 40 and many are mothers who take their children to the stands during training .

"Sometimes it seems a miracle to be able to take one day a week to be here," says Volpini.

Only three of them have a past in Italian soccer teams, while the captain is the Cameroonian Eugene Tcheugoue, who played 30 years ago in her native country and now drags with her good humor and with her energy to the other teammates.

"It was a great idea, I could never have imagined playing here in the Vatican again, having the chance to have fun again like when I was a girl kicking a ball in the company of other women", comments EFE on board before going out to train.

He acknowledges laughing that when he told his colleagues in the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life "took him for a ride" and they could not believe it.

However, the prefect of the dicastery, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, after receiving several calls that told him this initiative and explained that one of his workers also played, wanted to personally congratulate her and applaud the initiative.

"I think everyone (at the Vatican) is happy about this initiative because it is also a simple way to create a community outside the work environment," says Tcheugoue.

During today's training they had to call reinforcements, the Bambin Gesu team, formed by employees, nurses and doctors, to be able to play 11 against 11.

They are preparing the match on May 26 against A.S. Roma, who came fourth in their first season in the women's league of Serie A, and on June 22 will travel to Vienna to face a local team.

"Even if they lose 30-0, this does not matter," says Zennaro, who explains that the important thing in all this is "to create bonds and friendships".

Also for the front Barbara de Filippi the result does not matter: "We went out to the field just for fun, for the pleasure of playing". (tagsToTranslate) vaticano (t) futbol (t) feminine

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