World champion Germany to meet Pope Francis at Vatican

Agence France-Presse
The German squad will meet the 79-year-old Argentine, who is known to be a football fan, when they travel to Italy for an international friendly

MEET THE POPE. Germany's national football team, seen here waving from a truck during a victory parade post-FIFA World Cup title on July 15, 2014, will meet football fan Pope Francis. File photo by JAN WOITAS / DPA / AFP

BERLIN, Germany – World champion Germany will be granted an audience with Pope Francis when the team travels to Italy for a friendly international this month, head coach Joachim Loew confirmed on Monday, October 31 (Tuesday in Manila).

Germany plays a 2018 World Cup qualifier away to minnows San Marino on November 11, then faces Italy in a friendly in Milan 4 days later.

The German squad will meet the 79-year-old Argentine around the time of the Italy match.

“It’s great that this will be possible,” said Loew in a press conference on Monday to confirm his contract extension until 2020.

“It does not matter which religious ideologies you have – it’s a great thing for everyone when the team gets involved in other things.”

Several of the diverse Germany squad are Muslim, including Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, defender Shkodran Mustafi, Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan.

The pope is known to be a football fan and is an honorary member of German second division club 1860 Munich. –