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article imageIt's Pope versus Pope in the World Cup Final

By Mike Rossi     Jul 11, 2014 in World
Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI may play for the same team as Catholics, but they certainly don't cheer for the same team as football fans.
When the World Cup Final kicks-off on Sunday, the Argentine Francis and German Benedict will find themselves as divided as the Church during the Great Schism.
Though Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has stressed that neither Pope has openly expressed interest in the game, Francis was a known football fan in his native Argentina.
Some suspect — including Fr. Lombardi — that he will "at least inform himself of the result," if not watch the game quietly within his room at the Vatican's guesthouse, Casa Santa Marta.
The 87 year-old Benedict, however, will likely disregard the contest in its entirety, a consequence of his limited interest in athletic affairs and susceptibility to fatigue.
Pope Benedict
Pope Benedictus XVI
Photo by Sergey Kozhukhov
Having said that, German fans need not fret at their countryman's apparent disinterest — his lack of football focus should be mitigated by the fact that Francis has already announced that he will not pray for an Argentine victory.
In lieu of divine persuasion, it appears both Germany and Argentina will have to rely on merit alone to win Sunday's contest — Good news for a German side that has become the odds-on favorite to hoist the trophy after annihilating Brazil in the semi-finals.
The #HolyWar starts at 3 p.m. EST. Good luck to the players, fans and popes of both countries.
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