Italy v Argentina tonight: who will the pope cheer for?
Pope Francis swerves the question as he greets the two teams
Picture: Mail Online/Getty Images
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Maverick Azzurri striker Mario Balotelli - who has withdrawn from the friendly with a knee injury - was present as Francis told the players to remember they are role models on and off the field 'for better or worse.'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.
Source: Mail Online
Salesian Father Paul Leung Kon-chiu is helping local people adapt to the modernization of their country
Annual Sant'Egidio community event helps homeless Muslims in Jakarta
Christian prisoners are singled out for more abuse than others, say activists
Report is politically motivated as the government faces criticism for failing to protect religious minorities, say activists
Reporters should avoid writing news that will worsen conflicts, bishops' conference official says