Catholic football stars including Lionel Messi, Andrea Pirlo and Javier Zanetti will play in an “inter-religious match for peace” organised by the Vatican at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on 1 September.
Roberto Baggio and Zinedine Zidane are among the other legendary footballers who will appear in the match which has been organised after Pope Francis met the Argentina and Italy teams in August 2013 following a friendly match organised in the Pontiff’s honour.
During the visit, Zanetti, a former captain of Argentina and Inter Milan, suggested that the Vatican set up an event for people of different religions.
Francis is a committed football fan and is still a member of his favourite team, San Lorenzo from Buenos Aires.
Tickets for the match go on sale this Friday and the proceeds will go to “Scholas Occurrentes”, an educational organisation supported by the Argentine Pope, and Zanetti’s “PUPI” foundation, which helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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