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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 19, 2013

Pope Francis Welcomes Argentine Soccer Champs in Italy

Pope Francis Welcomes Argentine Soccer Champs in Italy

Photo: Pope Francis and a San Lorenzo jersey

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Pope Francis on Wednesday called the members of Argentine soccer club San Lorenzo “crazy” for having come to Vatican City to present him with the cup they won as league champions.

“The pope told us that we were crazy for coming here,” club Vice President Marcelo Tinelli said happily at a press conference after having met for about 35 minutes with the Argentine pontiff, a lifelong San Lorenzo fan.

“It’s been a while since we all made the promise to come to give him the trophy if we were the champions, and here we are. Besides that, we brought him a special jersey that San Lorenzo (created) for the championship and (a pair) of our goalie’s gloves,” said the VP.

Tinelli, visibly enthused the entire time, recalled his visit to Italy in August with his country’s national team, when the pope jovially asked Argentine soccer federation chief Julio Humberto Grondona if San Lorenzo “would be the champs.”

“I think that this season is really Francis’s, he gave us a lot of energy. San Lorenzo’s victory was his miracle,” Tinelli said.

The pontiff, who on Tuesday turned 77, was presented with the cup during his public audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square.

The top officials of San Lorenzo expressed their pride when Francis announced to them that the cup and the gloves of goaltender Sebastian Torrico will be displayed in the Vatican Museums, which are visited each year by about five million people.

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