Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has conceded that Wednesday’s friendly against Argentina will be ‘special’.
The Azzurri face the South Americans in Rome later this week, with both teams meeting the Pope in Vatican City beforehand.
“This friendly has a special meaning,” he told a Press conference.
“From a technical point of view, we want to follow up on the good show we put on in Brazil.
“For us that would be a success.
“And then of course, we are in front of the Holy Father, so that is something very special.”
The former Fiorentina Coach was then asked to respond to comments made by Mario Balotelli, who said the game was more important than meeting the Pope.
“We play games every day, every week. But you only get to meet the Pope once in your life.
“It will be a new emotion for everyone.
“I do not agree with what Balotelli said.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.