Pope Francis received an Argentina soccer jersey during the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
But despite being an official card-carrying member of his favorite Buenos Aires football club, the pope has pledged absolute neutrality for the World Cup, according to the Associated Press.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff himself asked the pontiff to at least remain neutral during the competition while on a February visit to the Vatican.
Laughing, Francis told the Barcelona newspaper "La Vanguardia," "The Brazilians asked for neutrality. I'll keep my word because Brazil and Argentina are always opponents."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published June 25 2014, 1:24 PM