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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More