Thursday, 24 May 2012

Drogba: "I pray a lot. It was written a long time ago. God is wonderful."

The Sports Office in the Vatican have highlighted Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after the footballer celebrated his teams victory in the Champions League. He is a committed Catholic who has spoken about his faith before in interviews and when leaving his former club, Olympique de Marseille, he gave his team shirt to the local Cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Garde. It's still on display today.

Father Kevin Lixey, the director of the Vatican’s Office of Church and Sport, said: “The Vatican and the Holy Father is always very interested in such athletes as they are role models for others... if they give thanks to God for their talents, it is good for the young people who admire these star athletes.”

Drogba was seen making the sign of the cross both after scoring the equaliser with 2 minutes to go, and then again after holding his nerve and scoring the winning penalty. In an interview after the game he said, "It was fate, I believe a lot in destiny. I pray a lot. It was written a long time ago. God is wonderful. This team is amazing."

Father Lixey went on to compare Drogba and American football player Tim Tebow; both players recognise they have "a short time to witness to their faith" and that their careers are a "window of opportunity" to evangelise.

However Father Lixey believes that there is “no correlation between victory and their prayers,” yet Christian sportsmen are more likely to “give more to others in the team and can get along better with teammates".

Does Drogba promote a positive Christian image? He has been accused of diving and misleading referees in the past, is this a model of Christian behaviour? Is it important that young people do see committed and openly Christian sports stars?

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