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ROME – Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio were among a host of former soccer stars who played in an interreligious charity match backed by Pope Francis on Monday night.
The Argentine pope, an avid soccer fan, did not attend the match but had an audience with both teams earlier in the day and also broadcast a message on the big screens at Rome's Olympic Stadium ahead of kickoff.
The idea arose during an audience former Argentina great Javier Zanetti had with Francis last year and. As well as promoting peace, the game raised money for at-risk kids.
The two teams were named after Scholas Occurrentes — an educational entity launched by the pope — and Zanetti's Pupi foundation.
Pupi recovered from two goals down at halftime to win 5-3 in an entertaining match.
The highlight of the night was Maradona's delightful lobbed pass that set up Baggio's goal.