ROME — Italy has officially invited Argentina to play a friendly in Rome on Aug. 14 that coach Cesare Prandelli hopes will be preceded by an audience for both squads with newly elected Pope Francis.
The Italian football federation announced that it sent an invitation Tuesday to the Argentine federation.
Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires and is a known football fan.
The match, if Argentina accepts, would likely be held at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, a short drive from Vatican City.
Italy's last match with Argentina was also a friendly in Rome, in 2001, which Argentina won 2-1. Before that, Diego Maradona's Argentina knocked host Italy out of the 1990 World Cup on penalties in a memorable semifinal match in Naples.