The USA remain without a win on European soil since 1993 while neither team have lifted the trophy away from home in 11 years
Pope Francis, who recently raised the possibility of retiring due to his declining health, will create 20 new cardinals on Saturday — many of whom could one day choose his successor.
It is the eighth consistory since the 85-year-old was elected in 2013, but is being particularly closely watched for signs of the kind of Catholic Church he hopes to leave behind.
The new cardinals include men known for their progressive views, as well as pastoral work, and hail from around the world — from Brazil to Nigeria, India, Singapore and East Timor.
After Saturday's swearing-in at St Peter's Basilica, they will join a two-day meeting of all cardinals starting on Monday. The gathering was called earlier this year to discuss the Pope's new constitution for the governance of the church — fuelling speculations of his exit.
Francis, who has cancelled numerous events in recent months, and has been forced to use a wheelchair due to knee pain, stated last month that the "the door is open" to him stepping down.
If he does follow his predecessor Benedict XVI and resign, a conclave involving all cardinals aged under 80 would be called to choose a successor.
After this weekend, Francis will have chosen around 90 out of the 132 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope, around two-thirds of the total — precisely the percentage needed for any proposed name to pass.
The naming of cardinals — normally an annual event — is always scrutinised as an indication of the future direction of the Catholic Church, and its priorities for its 1.3 billion faithful.
Francis's choices for cardinals do not automatically guarantee that the next pope would be someone reflecting his own priorities, Vatican specialist Bernard Lecomte told AFP.
"We always have the impression there will be continuity, but in reality, history has shown the opposite," said Lecomte, citing the "balancing" from one pope to the next, throughout the 20th century.
Francis' papacy has been defined by efforts to make the Church more inclusive, transparent and focused on the most vulnerable members of society.
This year, the Argentine pontiff completed a major shake-up of the Vatican's powerful governing body, the Roman Curia, which makes winning new converts a priority.
He has named cardinals who have rejected the Church hierarchy and status quo, and has also helped to counter centuries-long European hegemony.
Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, the archbishop of Dili, will — on Saturday — become the first cardinal of tiny East Timor, an overwhelmingly Catholic nation in Southeast Asia.
Another new appointment is Robert McElroy, the 68-year-old bishop of San Diego, California, who has supported gay Catholics and criticised moves to deny Communion to US politicians — like President Joe Biden — who support abortion.
Two years ago, the Pope made history by creating the first African-American cardinal — Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington.
Saturday will also see the creation of the youngest cardinal in the world: 48-year-old Italian missionary Giorgio Marengo, who works in Mongolia.
The group also includes Nigeria's Peter Okpaleke, the bishop of Ekwulobia, and Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, archbishop of Manaus, Brazil.
Three future cardinals already hold positions in the Curia — Arthur Roche of Britain, Lazzaro You Heung Sik of South Korea, and Fernando Vergez Alzaga of Spain.
Lucas Van Looy, the 80-year-old bishop emeritus of Ghent, was nominated as a cardinal, but asked to be exempted, following criticism of his handling of child sexual abuse by priests in Belgium.
On Saturday, the future cardinals will kneel one by one at the feet of the pontiff, who will place on their heads the quadrangular scarlet cap (biretta).
The ceremony will be followed by the Vatican's traditional "courtesy visit", in which the new cardinals will greet the general public.
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