Vatican's national football team
The Vatican national football team is the football team that plays for the Vatican and represents it in international matches. As you may know, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world and therefore has its own national football teams. However, the Vatican national football team is one of the seven national football teams that are not FIFA members (others are Monaco, Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru and Federated States of Micronesia).
The only people eligible to play for the Vatican national football team are the Swiss Guards and the museum guards. This indicates that the players of the Vatican national football team have very limited time to train because of their responsibilities. As a matter of fact, security is needed at all times and therefore it is very difficult and challenging for the players to find the time to improve their football skills. In fact they can go for many days without training. It is basically because of these reasons that the Vatican national football team plays very few international games. The calendar of the Vatican national football team is very much disadvantaged.
From the several games that the Vatican national football team has played, their performance has not been very good. The team normally plays with other local teams in Rome as friendly matches but winning has always been a problem for it.
The Vatican national football team trains at a small ground just outside of the Vatican. The only international games that the Vatican national football team has played were against Monaco in 2002 and 2011. Unfortunately, the Vatican team did not win any of these international games. In the 2002 game, they drew 1-1, while in the 2011 game, they lost 2-1. The team has also played friendly games including a game with San Marino which they drew 1-1, a game against Palestine’s national football team which they lost 9-1, among other games. So far, the Vatican national football team has managed to play only seven games.
The Vatican national football team is fully supported by the Vatican. During the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the pope used to visit the team when training and encourage the players stating the importance of sports and playing as a representative of their state.
As a way of improving the Vatican national football squad, there have been suggestions to take some players from the Catholic seminaries from different parts of the world. This suggestion has not yet been acted upon. If accepted, this will be one way of enabling a teem where the players have some time to train and play with other teams. Currently, the Swiss Guards and museum guards who are the only eligible players to join the Vatican national football team are always busy guarding the Vatican staff and property hence they have no time to train or play more games with the other teams.