Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi will be part of the Argentina team that will travel to Italy to take on the hosts in a friendly match in Rome next month that will be watched by Pope Francis, according to an announcement by the team coach Alejandro Sabella.
Messi, who is currently in his pre-season with Barcelona, will join up with the Argentine squad in Italy before the friendly takes place, according to reports received. The match is scheduled to take place on the 14th of August and the Argentine coach has named a very strong 22 man squad to travel to Rome for the friendly. The likes of Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Angel di Maria, and Gonzalo Higuain have all been named in a star studded squad for the friendly, which will be the first time Argentina has played in Italy since the infamous 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Messi has been the centre of a lot of controversy in recent times with Argentine authorities claiming the four time World Player of the Year has not paid over € 5 million in taxes and have held up his father responsible for the overdue payment along with Messi.
He was also pictured with a stripper in Las Vegas during a vacation which his girlfriend was in Spain and despite all these controversies, Messi remains the biggest player in the world and his presence will arguably make the match one to watch out for when the two teams go head to head against each other in a few days’ time.
Pope Francis, who recently replaced the retiring Pope Benedict XI, was born as Jose Maria Bergoglio and served as the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires and is a supporter of San Lorenzo in the Argentina top flight and the match will be held in his honor.