According to Vatican sources, Pope Francis spoke to Mario Balotelli about racism and being a good role model.
The striker was the only player to receive a private audience with His Holiness during the meeting with both Italy and Argentina squads on Tuesday.
He achieved this by running after the Pope into a separate room after the ceremony had concluded.
“Thank you Pope Francis. Thank you from the heart for those five minutes,” wrote Balotelli on Twitter.
He has refused to discuss what was said in that private audience, but emerged from the room visibly moved.
According to Vatican sources in La Repubblica newspaper, they discussed racism in society and being a good role model to youth.
Pope Francis also encouraged Balotelli not to react to provocation on the field or off it.