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San Lorenzo cash in on papal support

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Argentinian top flight side San Lorenzo (Club Atl├ętico San Lorenzo de Almagro) have been quick to cash in on the election of Pope Francis 1st by posting a picture of the new pope smiling as he holds up the club's colours on their website. He received a membership card for the club after saying mass at a sports complex nearby.

Architect and fellow fan Oscar Lucchini, who presented him with his membership card stated 'He says he lives in a permanent state of suffering for San Lorenzo.' This is not surprising as the appropriately named 'Los Santos' ('The Saints') are currently 12th in the league and have not won the national championship since 2007.

Francis is the third pope in succession to have an association with football. Pope John Paul II played football in his youth and Pope Benedict was known to be a keen supporter of Bayern Munich. Perhaps he will now get more time to watch their matches now that he is Pope Emeritus.

There were rumours that Benedict was considering the possibility of a Vatican City team playing in the lower levels of the Italian leagues. At the moment the only football played in the Holy See is a competition between seminaries which is noted for its vigorous play.