Chapecoense plane crash survivors meet Pope Francis at the Vatican
Brazilian side Chapecoense met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.
The club were devastated by an airplane crash in the mountains of Colombia in November, with all but six of the 77 players, officials and journalists on board killed.
Three players survived the crash and two of them, Jackson Follmann and Alan Ruschel, were among those at the Vatican.
Pope Francis gave Chapecoense a special welcome in his remarks and posed for pictures with the team at the end of his weekly general audience.
"I feel it was a miracle for what happened in my life," Ruschel said. "I am very happy to be able to be back and play at a high level, and now I am taking advantage of every minute that I am playing."
Follmann had part of his right leg amputated from injuries in the crash.
"I asked him [Pope Francis] to bless my rosary as I will get married soon," Follmann, who was the team's goalkeeper, said. "He gave the blessing and so this will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Chapecoense face Roma in a charity match at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday to raise funds for the club.
The restructured side are currently in 17th place in the 20-team Campeonato Brasileiro.