'Pope Francis vs. Pope Benedict': Argentina, Germany Fans Call for Papal Intervention at World Cup

( [email protected] ) Jul 12, 2014 10:24 PM EDT
Pope Benedict and Pope Francis
CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters

As Germany and Argentina faces of at the FIFA World Cup Final this Sunday, supporters on both sides have called for divine intervention from Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Over the previous weeks, social media has exploded with comments egging on the two living popes for a so-called 'holy war' showdown. Sports enthusiasts and internet trolls alike have played on the nationality of the popes, despite lukewarm responses from both papal leaders.

Germany's Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reportedly has no interests in sports, and resides in relative seclusion at a converted monastery inside Vatican City.

Pope Francis has publically declared neutrality despite being a card-carrying member of Argentina's San Lorenzo Club. Even so, this has not dispelled rumors suggesting Francis has secret preference for his native Argentina.

Last Tuesday, French-language iMedia claimed that Francis joked about a 'war' to his Swiss Guard protectors, right before the Argentina vs. Switzerland match. The alleged comment prompted an official Vatican tweet showing a cartoon of the papal bodyguards cheering for their Swiss team, while Francis paces angrily nearby.

In reality, the situation was much more cordial as the Swiss Guard invited Francis to watch the match together at their barracks. Francis politely declined, though he reportedly expressed gratitude for that offer.

Coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final begins at 12:00pm PST on the ABC network.

World Cup 2014 Final: Watch Germany vs. Argentina Live Stream Online [ABC]