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Barcelona star Lionel Messi wants to meet Pope Francis, a fellow Argentine and soccer fan

Lionel Messi feels "proud" that Pope Francis is a fellow Argentine and wants to meet the new head of the Roman Catholic church.

Messi spoke Thursday for the first time on Pope Francis after training with the rest of the Argentina squad for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in Buenos Aires.

Pope Francis is a former archbishop of Buenos Aires and life-long supporter of soccer club San Lorenzo, which is based in the Argentine capital. Messi grew up as a fan of Newell's Old Boys, a team located in the city of Rosario.