Argentina to play Italy in front of Pope Francis

  • AFP, Buenos Aires
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2013 19:25 IST

Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be part of an Argentina squad to face Italy in a friendly in Rome next month to be watched by Pope Francis, coach Alejandro Sabella has announced.

The four-time World Player of the Year is among the 22-strong squad picked by Sabella on Tuesday night to play in the match on August 14.

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires and a lifelong supporter of Argentinian top flight club San Lorenzo.

Argentina squad to face Italy in Rome on August 14:

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria/ITA), Oscar Ustari (Almer?a/ESP), Mariano Andujar (Catania/ITA)

Defenders: Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan/ITA), Federico Fernandez (Napoli/ITA), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica/POR), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City/ENG), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United/ENG), Cristian Ansaldi (Rubin Kazan/RUS), Jos Basanta (Monterrey/MEX)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona/ESP), Ever Banega (Valencia/ESP), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo/ESP), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan/ITA), Lucas Biglia (Lazio/ITA), Erik Lamela (Roma/ITA).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Angel Di Mara (Real Madrid/ESP), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan/ITA), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/ITA), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)


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