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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