London, Aug 14 (ANI): Pope Francis has reminded international football stars including Lionel Messi and Mario Balotelli of their social responsibility and told them that there is no place for individualism.
According to Sky Sports, the pontiff spoke to players from the Italy and Argentina national teams at the Vatican on the eve of a friendly match between the sides in Rome and said that it was difficult for him to support one team, adding that he was happy that it was a friendly.
The 76-year-old, a lifelong fan of Argentine club San Lorenzo, called on the teams to make sure they used their popularity to give a good example to their fans and told the players that they were popular, and therefore had a social responsibility, the report said.
The Pope also stressed the importance of beauty, camaraderie and altruism when playing football, the report added.
The players presented Francis with a personalised shirt from each team with his name on it, a silver vase from the Argentinians and an olive tree from the Italians, the report further said. (ANI)