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Bend it like Benedict

January 16, 2007

Here’s some pleasant news from the world of soccer. German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has recommitted himself to his faith on account of an October 2005 Vatican meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and the Pope’s 2006 visit to Bavaria. These encounters with the Pope greatly impacted Beckenbauer, who subsequently turned to the Pope’s writings and began practicing his faith once more.

Here’s the CWN write-up:

Jan. 16, 2007 (CWNews.com) – German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has told the Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that his October 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI was “the most important experience” of his life.

As chairman of the German committee organizing the 2006 World Cup competition, Beckenbauer met with the Holy Father at the Vatican in October 2005. The encounter made a deep impression on the German athlete, and after the Pope’s trip to Bavaria in 2006, Beckenbauer began to immerse himself in the Pope’s writings. As a result of his reading, Beckenbauer returned to the active practice of his faith.

“Benedict XVI leads people to the Church,” Beckenbauer told Abendzeitung, “and I myself am the best example of that.”

Known as “the Kaiser” because of his dominance of the game, Beckenbauer was captain of the German squad that won the World Cup in 1974.

But despite his faith, not even Beckenbauer could help the Germans defeat the Greeks (click here to see that debacle).

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