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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Health Experts Call for Delaying or Moving Olympics Over Zika Threat

    Open letter with 150 signatures says holding games in midst of health threat to visitors would be 'irresponsible,' 'unethical'

    Global Growth the 'Urgent Priority', G-7 Leaders Conclude

    A final statement of the meeting addressed broad issues facing the global economy while glossing over a difference of opinions among G-7 leaders over fiscal stimulus

    Diplomat Found Dead in El Salvador

    Body of Panama's honorary consul is found in vehicle in San Salvador, with a gunshot wound to the head

    In Colombia, Abortion Is Legal but Denied to Many Women, Advocates Say

    Colombia, a nation of 48 million people, allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation, if the fetus is at risk and if the health, both physical and mental, of the mother is at risk

    Colombia Says 2 More Journalists Missing in Rough Area

    Journalists missing in region where security forces are already carrying out massive search for prominent Spanish journalist, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday

    Cuba to Legalize Small, Medium-sized Private Businesses

    Move could significantly expand space allowed for private enterprise in one of world's last communist countries