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Pope Francis welcomes Germany’s football team to Vatican

The German national team lines up to meet the Pope (AP)

The German national football team presented Pope Francis with a shirt during an audience inside the Apostolic Palace on Monday, two years after it defeated Argentina in the World Cup final.

As he gave the Argentine pope a shirt signed by the team’s players, German FA president Reinhard Grindel says, “We became world champions beating the Argentine national team, which is something that might have upset you, so symbolically, this jersey also unites us and yourself for this matter.”

Francis, a lifelong fan of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, has had frequent meetings with football players from around the world.

He noted Germany’s success as a team “helps you recognize your responsibilities off the field, too.”

Germany was traveling to Milan to face Italy in a friendly on Tuesday.