As he gave the Argentine Pope a shirt signed by the team’s players, German FA president Reinhard Grindel said: “We became world champions beating the Argentine national team, which is something that might have upset you, so symbolically, this jersey also unites us and yourself for this matter.”
Francis, a life-long fan of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, has had frequent meetings with football players from around the world.
He noted Germany’s success as a team “helps you recognise your responsibilities off the field, too.”
Germany were in Milan to face Italy in a friendly at San Siro on Tuesday night.
The visit to see the Pope comes after Thomas Muller questioned the relevance of playing countries such as San Marino.
After Germany’s 8-0 demolition of San Marino on Friday night in a World Cup qualifier, Muller spoke about whether his decorated side should be playing against international minnows.
After the game, the 27-year-old Bayern Munich forward said: “Matches like the one against San Marino have nothing to do with professional football.
“I do not understand the meaning of games such as these, more so with such a busy schedule.”