The team hopes that the picture showing Lionel Messi and teammates with the Holy Father will “give a message of hope prior to the beginning of the World Cup,” reported the publication Diario Castellanos, which posted an image of the giant photo on Twitter:
The Argentinean team playing for the World Cup is bringing with it a larger-than-life photo of the players with Pope Francis, at a meeting in the Vatican last year.
The picture was taken when the players visited the Pope at the Vatican in August of last year, the day before Argentina beat Italy in a friendly match.
It will be kept with the team during World Cup games at the Cidade do Galo Stadium in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.
The team's administrative staff arrived in Belo Horizonte ahead of the players and praised the Atletico Mineiro Club, the Brazilian team that plays at the stadium, for welcoming them.
“The truth is that they are treating us like we are at home, and the word no doesn't exist. They make it all happen, and we have almost everything ready for the arrival of the players,” said Efe Ruben, an official with the Argentinean national team.
Pope Francis, Soccer, World Cup