I always find it funny and odd and even a bit arrogant when a sports person or persons thank god for their achievement. I mean, sometimes it’s because the winning athlete or team is better prepares or skilled and sometimes it could that luck favoured them. But to think that this almighty creator, all powerful being who can do anything and sees everything chose to help you win a trophy yet cannot save starving kid or someone from being raped or murdered – why? Because you are so special?
Sports & religiousness seemed to go hand it hand. Just as some athletes have noteworthy celebration dances or pre-game rituals, many athletes give thanks to God or whatever religious entity they believe in, either to bring their focus to the task at hand or to show gratitude for a goal or point. What happens when both teams pray – is it always a draw? No, we usually have a winner. Anyways my post, and soon to be series is to highlight athletes who are also atheists.
The Italian Riccardo Montolivia, who played as a midfielder, was captain of AC Milan, one of the largest clubs in Italy, and he played for the Azzurri 66 times, including at the 2010 World Cup. He has a German mother and an Italian father. While his country is predominantly Catholic, Riccardo is decidedly not. Riccard Montolivo has publicly confirmed that he is an atheist. A versatile and creative player, Montolivo began his career with Atalanta in 2003 before joining Fiorentina in 2005.
He went on to make more than 250 appearances for the club in seven years. In 2012, he signed for Milan on a free transfer and, following the departure of Massimo Ambrosini, served as the team’s captain from 2013 until 2017, winning the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana. He left the club in the summer of 2019, before retiring later that year. On 22 May 2014, Montolivo married the Florentine model and presenter Cristina De Pin, with whom he had been engaged since 2007. The couple has two children, Mariam, born on 12 May 2016, and Mathias, born 20 October 2018.