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Pope Francis the free spirit meets Mario Balotelli the maverick

One is a confirmed ascetic who favours a simple wardrobe and putters around in Fiats. The other is a flamboyant showman who delights in peroxide mohicans and driving are there any canada goose outlet stores a variety of fast cars – most notably, perhaps, an army camouflage Bentley Continental GT.

All the indications were, therefore, that Pope Francis best mens canada goose jacket and Mario Balotelli might not have a great deal in common. But when the 76-year-old head of the Catholic church met the AC buy canada goose jacket ebay Milan striker in the Vatican on Tuesday , canada goose coat 1000 calorie diets they may just have found something to bond over.

After best replica canada goose jacket an address to the combined forces of the Italian and Argentinian football squads, Francis reportedly joked to Balotelli about his own – relatively mild – reputation for rule-breaking. “Here in the Vatican they scold me authorized canada goose outlet for being undisciplined but you can see what country I come from,” he said – alluding, according to Ansa, to the scrum canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day meal plan formed by the Argentinian players while the Italians formed a queue. It was not clear whether he was also referring to Balotelli’s tendency for spontaneous behaviour, such as allowing fireworks to be set off in his bathroom and gate-crashing press conferences.

On Monday the former Manchester City star had said that his conversation with the former archbishop of Buenos Aires would “remain between us”.

But canada goose, with usual reticence, he added that he would “say something important about religion” to benefits of canada goose jacket the pope – and hoped that he would, in turn, wish him a happy birthday. Balotelli has just turned 23.

Due to a knee injury, the Italian was thought unlikely to play in the friendly – held in the pope’s honour – on Wednesday. Also absent from the Stadio Olimpico will be Lionel Messi, the FC Barcelona forward, who has a thigh strain. However, the Argentinian captain said the audience with Francis had made for a special day. “It is an honour to be here and to have met the pope. He’s Argentinian and this makes him even more special for us,” he said.

Francis – a football fan and passionate supporter of the Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo de Almagro – admitted he would find it “a bit hard” to know who to cheer for in the match, at which he is not expected to be present. But he showed no unease when talking to the players and club delegates, urging them to remember their responsibilities as role models in society.

“You, dear players, bu sees a spike in canada goose jacket thefts are very popular: people follow you closely, not only when you are on the pitch but off it as well. This is a social responsibility,” he said. Football stars, he added, should be a reference point for good behaviour and best canada goose jacket review give an example of “loyalty, respect and altruism”.

Speaking in a mixture of Italian and Spanish, Francis also called on the clubs and players to reclaim the values of amateur sport, which he said were “generosity, camaraderie and beauty”, adding: “Sport is important, but it has to be true sport.

“Football, like other disciplines, has become big business,” he said, adding separately: “It’s true that national and international organisations are professionalising sport, and it has to be thus, but this professional aspect must never ignore the initial vocation of a sportsman or a squad: to be an amateur. A sportsman, when he cultivates this amateur aspect, does good to society.”