Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, soccer's governing body, said Monday at a press conference bringing the three-week tournament to a close, "This morning I received a message from Pope Francis. He certainly was not happy about Argentina's defeat, but he told me that football is good because it unites people. He wanted to send a message of peace. It (the World Cup) was a success and we gave people lots of excitement."
Argentina lost, 1-0, to Germany, a disappointment to the pope, a serious soccer enthusiast and fan of San Lorenzo, the professional team in Buenos Aires.
Prior to the match, the pope offered no opinion on his hopes for the outcome. Neither did his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who is from Germany.