News / Americas

The Pope Who Loved Soccer

In this March 24, 2011 image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team on March 13, 2013, Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio holds up a small flag of the San Lorenzo soccer team in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In this March 24, 2011 image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team on March 13, 2013, Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio holds up a small flag of the San Lorenzo soccer team in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Pope Francis roots for the Saints, not the Devils.



The Saints of San Lorenzo de Almagro, that is — one of Argentina’s top five soccer teams. 



The first Latin American pontiff grew up near the team’s stadium in Flores, a middle class neighborhood in Buenos Aires.



This screen shot image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team shows a copy of the club's identification card belonging to Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.This screen shot image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team shows a copy of the club's identification card belonging to Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
x
This screen shot image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team shows a copy of the club's identification card belonging to Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
This screen shot image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team shows a copy of the club's identification card belonging to Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
The new pope is a card-carrying member of the team’s club and has his own Saints jersey, presented to him in 2011 after he said Mass at the team’s own chapel. 



Another religious man, Father Lorenzo Massa, founded the club in 1908, according to the team’s website. A year before, the priest warned a group of boys playing soccer in the street that they could get hurt and offered the church grounds as a field. In return, he asked the boys to attend Mass each Sunday.



Midfielder Angel Correa is elated his team has a connection, spiritual or otherwise, with the new pope.



“I can’t believe it. My veins are running with a sensation very hard to describe, but very beautiful at the same time,” he said in comments on the team’s website.



Soccer is almost a religion in Argentina. The country’s national team is third in FIFA’s world rankings, the result of hard work and a lot of fans’ prayers.



The intersection of soccer and religion in the form of Pope Francis, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is a blessing, according to San Lorenzo loyalists.



Alejandro Maccio, the club’s top official, told the New York Times he hopes the pope’s connection to the team will “help more kids play soccer and get off the street.”



“He has been a great fan for many years, and we hope this will help us,” he told a journalist for the newspaper at the club's stadium this week.



The Saints will need that help when they battle the Red Devils of Independiente on the field later this year.

  • A statue of a crow is silhouetted against the San Lorenzo de Almagro chapel window in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, March 14, 2013. The San Lorenzo soccer team is sometimes called the "Crows," after the black color of a priest's robe.
  • In this March 24, 2011 image released by the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team, Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio speaks at the soccer club chapel in Buenos Aires.
  • Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, third from left, poses with young players of the San Lorenzo soccer team inside the soccer club's chapel in Buenos Aires, March 24, 2011. Bergoglio was chosen as Pope on March 13, 2013, the first pope ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millenium. (AP Photo/Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro)
  • Cristian Marcelo Reynoso, center, poses inside his home with his children, Milagro, 5, left, Oriana, 3, bottom, and Nahuel, 10, right, in their home in the Villa 21-24 slum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 14, 2013. At Villa 21-24, a slum so dangerous that most outsiders wouldn't dare go in, Jorge Mario Bergoglio often showed up unannounced to share laughs and sips of mate, the traditional Argentina herbal tea.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues US Border Patrol

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Mexico on October 10, 2012, when US agent shot him through border fence from Arizona
More

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More