World Cup 2014: Pope Francis and predecessor Benedict won't be watching Argentina and Germany face off in the final
... and he's said he won't even pray for a South American victory
The Vatican has said it is unlikely Pope Francis will tune in to watch Messi, Mascherano et al, because the kick-off time comes a little late for the 77-year-old's usual routine.
What with an impressive-looking Germany - birthplace of the Pope's predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI - providing the opposition in Rio de Janeiro, the stage might have seemed set for a papal football knees-up-cum-face-off. But on Thursday Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters with a chuckle that Benedict wasn't known as an avid sports fan.
Still, he didn't rule anything out, saying, "we'll see in the coming days."
Pope Francis has already given his word that there would be no papal intervention in Argentina's fortunes, promising he wouldn't pray for any team. German-born Benedict's interests are known to lean more toward intellectual than athletic pursuits.
Lombardi said ''both would want the better team to win, without taking sides."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27