Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has reportedly issued a formal invitation to Pope Francis to visit her country during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will begin on June 12.
The Pope had received Ms. Rousseff in a private audience, and the President invited the Argentine pontiff to see the inaugural game at Sao Paulo’s Arena Stadium or any of the matches contested by Argentina.
According to Sport24, the Vatican said in a statement that Ms. Rousseff had given the Pope a jersey with the number 10 on the back, signed by Brazilian soccer legend Pele with the dedication ‘To Pope Francis with respect and admiration’.
The report mentioned that for his part, the Pope gave the Brazilian President an artistic medallion of the angel of peace.
The Vatican further stated that the conversation between the two leaders was wide-ranging and cordial, and provided an occasion for the Pope to express once more his feelings of ‘affection and hope’ for all the Brazilian people.
The Brazilian President said it was always good talking to the Pope as he was committed to the poor and, being Latin American, had a better understanding of their countries’ problems.