The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is not above the passion his countrymen share for football and is an avid a fan of San Lorenzo, one of Argentina's top clubs.
Bergoglio, who took the name Pope Francis when he was elected to the post on Wednesday, received his San Lorenzo membership card after saying mass at a sports complex near the team's stadium.
"He says he lives in a permanent state of suffering for San Lorenzo," said Oscar Lucchini, an architect and fellow fan who handed Bergoglio's membership card to him after that mass about four years ago.
The club posted a picture on its website on Wednesday that showed a smiling Bergoglio lifting up the club's colours.
As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio was known for his unassuming lifestyle. He lives near San Lorenzo's headquarters and has long travelled the capital city by public bus.
He also shares the pain of his fellow San Lorenzo fans after their defeats, as well as their joy when the team wins. The club last won Argentina's national championship in 2007.
San Lorenzo also count actor Viggo Mortensen among their biggest supporters. Yes, the High King of the Reunited Kingdom.
Pope Francis being a San Lorenzo fan is perhaps fitting. The club was named after local priest Father Lorenzo Massa, who let children play football in his church's yard so they wouldn't have to do it amongst the dangerous trams in the street. San Lorenzo are currently in 12th place in the Argentine Primera Division, but now that they have the papacy on their side, they will probably expect to start rising up the table any minute now.
Reuters / Dirty Tackle
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