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Italy v Argentina tonight: who will the pope cheer for?

Pope Francis swerves the question as he greets the two teams

Italy v Argentina tonight: who will the pope cheer for?

Picture: Mail Online/Getty Images

John Drayton for Mail Online
Vatican City

August 14, 2013

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Two big-name Argentines have had a VIP meeting at the Vatican - Pope Francis and Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Ahead of Argentina's friendly against Italy in Rome on Wednesday night players from both sides enjoyed a private audience with the first Latin American-born pontiff in the Apostolic Palace.

Maverick Azzurri striker Mario Balotelli - who has withdrawn from the friendly with a knee injury - was present as Francis told the players to remember they are role models on and off the field 'for better or worse.' 

It remains to be seen whether the former Manchester City man will heed that advice.

Francis also asked for the players' prayers for himself 'on the playing field God put me on' and lamented that sport has become big business.

Full Story: The most famous Argentine on the planet meets the Pope... and Balotelli's there too! 

Source: Mail Online

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