Messi, Zidane, Eto’o, Buffon & Others to Participate in a Charity Match by Pope Francis

Vatican City (dpa/NAN) A number of international football stars, including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, will take part in a charity match sponsored by Pope Francis on Sept. 1, the Vatican media said on Wednesday.

The match, tagged “the Inter-religious Match for Peace” will take place in Rome’s main stadium, the Vatican Information Service said.

Alongside Messi, the advertised list of participating players has Gianlugi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Samuel Eto’o and Yuto Nagatomo, as well as former footballers like Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Baggio and Javier Zanetti.

Zanetti, who retired in May, had suggested organising  “a sporting event uniting people of different religions’’ when he met the Pope last year.


He had met Pope Francis along with the rest of the Argentine national team, the Vatican said.

Tickets for the match will go on sale on Friday, and proceeds will go to Scholas Occurentes, an educational charity supported by the Pope, and to Zanetti’s PUPI foundation.

This will help children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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