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Monday
Mar182013

Pope Francis...the Soccer Fan?

Juan Ayala/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Pope Francis has made fans around the world after his first few days as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church but in his native Argentina one of the country's biggest soccer clubs has capitalized on the fact that he is a big fan of them.

San Lorenzo de Almagro, a club named for a saint, wasted no time in letting the world know that the new pontiff was not just a casual fan, but a paying member of their fan club.

"It's an honor for this club to know that the first South American pope is a member of San Lorenzo," the club said on Twitter.

The club then posted on the social website not only a photo of Pope Francis years ago holding up a club flag but even his official membership card.

In a publicity blitz San Lorenzo went on to send a letter to their most famous fan. The club known as "The Saints" congratulated the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his appointment as pontiff and emphasized that for them, he was not just another pope or the first Argentine or Latin American or Jesuit pope, but rather "The Pope of San Lorenzo."

San Lorenzo touted that in 2011 then cardinal Bergoglio celebrated a mass at the team chapel, posing with a jersey and players afterwards. They even updated their traditional red-and-blue striped uniform for Saturday's game against Colon de Santa Fe. The players took the field with a photo of Pope Francis emblazoned in the center of their jerseys.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio