Friendly dedicated to Pope Francis?

March 27, 2013

Lionel Messi's Argentina playing Mario Balotelli's Italy in a friendly dedicated to newly elected Pope Francis. That's something Italy coach Cesare Prandelli would like to see.

Speaking a day after Italy's 2-0 win over Malta in a World Cup qualifier, Prandelli said Wednesday that ''we've played friendlies with all the best national teams, only Argentina is missing.''

The coach also says ''if we could arrange it, it would be nice to have an audience with the pope, who comes from Buenos Aires and loves football, and then go all together with both squads on one bus to the stadium. I couldn't dream of anything better.''

The hypothetical friendly would likely be held at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, a short drive from Vatican City. Still, no match is scheduled yet.