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Brazil’s president Dilma Roussef has revealed she will invite Pope Francis to the World Cup this summer at a meeting at the Vatican on Friday.
Roussef will be meeting the Roman Catholic Church’s leader as part of the Vatican’s Consistory that will appoint new cardinals, with Orani Tempesta -- Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro -- among the number, and Roussef wants the pontiff to attend the tournament, which kicks off on June 12.
"I'm going to invite him to the World Cup," the Brazilian president is reported as saying by conmebol.com.
Roussef stated that the pontiff would be welcomed to the tournament in Brazil despite being Argentinian -- one of the host nation’s biggest footballing rivals.
"He must be a fan of his team [San Lorenzo], I will be a fan of Brazil," she continued.
Pope Francis -- whose birth name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio -- was the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, and a fan of San Lorenzo de Almagro since childhood.
Argentina head to Brazil with hopes of lifting the trophy in the Macarana stadium in Rio on July 13. San Lorenzo lost a Copa Libertadores clash 2-0 in the same arena last week to Brazilian club Botafogo.
Rousseff praised the Pope, stating that his leadership of the Catholic faith as a South American is good for the continent: "He is committed to the poor. I respect him very much for that and also for the fact that he is a Latin American Pope, Argentine."