San Lorenzo gives top fan Pope Francis their trophy

Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:12am EST
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By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - San Lorenzo visited Pope Francis on Wednesday and gave their number one fan their Argentine league trophy and one of the gloves goalkeeper Sebastian Torrico was wearing in the decisive match last Sunday.

"He told us of the happiness our victory brought him," said club vice president Marcelo Tinelli.

San Lorenzo, who Francis cheered on for decades when he was in his homeland, won the Inicial, the first of two championships in the 2013/14 season.

Seven team officials and two players, including Torrico, attended the pope's weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square and then met him privately for about half an hour in the guest house where he lives.

Tinelli said the team had made a "silent promise" that they would fly to Rome and give the pope the trophy "because he is the most famous fan of San Lorenzo in the world".

The pope told them that he would keep the trophy and the glove in "a Vatican museum".

The pope is an honorary member of the club nicknamed the Saints of Boedo for the barrio where they were founded by a group of young men that included a priest in 1908.

The San Lorenzo team and the pope discussed one of Torrico's brilliant saves that kept them in the match at Velez Sarsfield.   Continued...

A member of Argentine soccer team San Lorenzo presents Pope Francis (R) with the replica of the trophy that they won in the Argentine soccer championship, during the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile