Pope Francis is a big sports fan. But a few weeks back, he didn't seem that impressed with basketball. There's no doubt- soccer is his number one pick.
In fact, during audiences, he often jokes around about his passion for that sport.
'The other day, when I was passing by the Square in the popemobile, someone showed me the San Lorenzo team jersey. I saw him and went like this.â?
But it's not all games. Time and time again he has made it a point to remind players about the responsibility that come with fame. This is what he told Argentina's team about a year ago.
'People look up to you. Not just on the field, but also outside. This is a big social responsibility. You see, in soccer, when you're on the field, there's beauty, generosity and sportsmanship. When a match lacks this, it looses strength, even when you win.â?
He also directly asked Argentinian soccer player, Carlos Tevez to use his popularity to promote positive values.
'You see, you're a champion. People idolize you and thorough that channel you have the power to educate.â?
He then blessed his unborn child, jokingly asking the soccer star, to have his son support the Pope's favorite team-the San Lorenzo de Almagro.
'Teach him to play soccer, okâ?
One of the first jerseys he received was from Argentinian star, Messi. Totti also gave him Rome's jersey. And Brazilian president Dilma, one that was signed by Pele. The Naples team gave him a personalized goalie jersey.
'... For the keeper of souls.â?
'It's for a special goalie, because I have to let them all in.â?
The message is clear-the Pope loves soccer. But given his statement, he wouldn't be the best goalie during this World Cup.