Pope gives pre-match pep talk to Italian cup finalists

Pope gives pre-match pep talk to Italian cup finalists

Football stars from Milan and Juventus have received a last-minute pep talk from the Pope before this weekend's Italian Cup final.

Francis gave his blessing to players, coaches and family members of both teams during an audience in the Apostolic Palace.

The football-mad Argentine told the teams they should always uphold the positive values of sport: harmony, trust, friendship and dialogue.

He said: "You are champions in sport, but above all, champions in life."

Milan and Juventus meet on Saturday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Francis is a lifelong fan of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, has an enormous collection of team shirts that have been presented to him and has frequently met players from around the world.

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