With eye-gouging scourge-of-La-Liga Jose Mourinho seemingly hell-bent on sullying Real Madrid's
name, the club must have thanked the Lord when Pope Benedict XVI
descended upon their fair city to offer a chance of absolution and a few
positive headlines in the world's media.
Although the German pontiff was actually in Madrid to celebrate World Youth Day (WYD), a Catholic festival bringing together young pilgrims from around the world, that didn't stop Los Blancos from bagging themselves some valuable Mourinho-eschewing time with Benedict XVI.
The club presented the German-born Pope with a commemorative Real Madrid centenary shirt, signed by the entire team and personalised with the number 16 and the name Benedicto.
Presumably all they want in return is a little divine intervention the next time all-conquering Barcelona come calling.
However, Bendicto might feel a little hard done by when he discovers that it's not the first time that Real president Florentino Perez has curried favour with a pontiff.
In 2002, during Perez's first spell in charge of the club, the Real supremo presented Benedicto's predecessor John Paul II with a signed shirt AND a silver replica of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.