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Soccer-loving pope cheers Messi, other players

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August 13, 2013 AT 11:23 AM
Pope Francis cheered fellow Argentine Lionel Messi and other soccer stars as he held a morality-focused pep rally of sorts at the Vatican for Argentina and Italy's national teams ahead of their eagerly awaited friendly match. Barcelona star Messi, his Argentine national soccer teammates, as well as Italy's national team players were treated to a private audience with Francis in the Apostolic Palace.