President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday that she will invite Pope Francis, a huge football fan, to the World Cup in Brazil, taking advantage of a meeting at the Vatican this Friday.
"I'm going to invite him to the World Cup," said the Brazilian president, announcing that she intends to meet the pontiff at the Vatican on Friday.
Rousseff will participate in the Vatican's Consistory that will appoint new cardinals, among them Brazilian Orani Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro.
The president stressed that the Pope is a fan of Argentine team San Lorenzo: "He must be a fan of his team, I will be a fan of Brazil," Rousseff said.
Brazil and Argentina are eternal rivals in football.
Before mentioning her intention of inviting him to the World Cup, to be held from June 12 to July 13, Rousseff praised the Pope: "he is committed to the poor. I respect him very much for that and also for the fact that he is a Latin American Pope, Argentine."
The Pope, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, has been a fan of San Lorenzo de Almagro since he was a little boy and has mentioned several times that he remembers going with his father to see games at the famous Gasometro stadium.
In the mythical Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will be played, the Pope's team lost last week 2-0 against Brazilian club Botafogo, in the second phase of the Copa Libertadores.
On a previous visit to the Vatican after Francis was named the new Pope, Rousseff had joked that Argentina could have a Pope but God was Brazilian, a popular joke in this country with enormous natural wealth.