French PM Castex provides Pope Francis signed Lionel Messi jersey

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FILE – On this March 31, 2013 file picture, Pope Francis holds a San Lorenzo’s jersey, the Buenos Aires soccer group, handed to him by a trustworthy on the finish of the Easter mass in St. Peter’s Sq. on the Vatican. Twelve years after Italy and Argentina final performed, the 2 predominantly Roman Catholic and football-mad nations are renewing their storied rivalry in a sport devoted to Pope Francis, an Argentine and an enormous soccer fan. AP

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis, a eager soccer fan, obtained an uncommon reward on Monday from France’s prime minister – a jersey signed by the pontiff’s fellow Argentine Lionel Messi.

Jean Castex gave the pope the glass-framed quantity 30 jersey, signed by Messi, who performs for Paris St Germain, following 35 minutes of personal talks on the Vatican.

Francis, 84, has met Messi, 34, and as soon as referred to as him one of many best soccer gamers of all time. Francis is a lifelong fan of the Buenos Aires San Lorenzo soccer group.

The French premier additionally gave the pope a extra conventional reward – an 1836 version of “Notre Dame de Paris,” Victor Hugo’s basic novel concerning the hunchbacked bell ringer Quasimodo set in Paris in 1482.

Castex was visiting the Vatican and Rome for celebrations marking the centenary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See.

After assembly the pope, Castex toured the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

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