So the white smoke has blown and Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been announced as the latest… famous San Lorenzo fan (and Pope). After Pope John Paul II who was a goalkeeper in Poland and Pope Benedict XVI who was a big Bayern Munich fan, it’s been revealed that the new Argentine Pope supports the Buenos Aires team San Lorenzo. See:
God Supports Barcelona
However it seems the powers that be in the Vatican favour Barcelona. The Catalan team have played during three papal conclaves: ’58, ’78, and last tuesday in their Champions League game against AC Milan. They won all three games 4-0. AC never stood a chance.
But surely the people of Vatican City can’t support a Spanish team, and what about nationally? Is there a Vatican City international team?
Vatican National Team
Yes there is. They played their first game (a 0-0 against Monaco) in 2002 and have gone on to play a further seven games. Their only other recognised international was again against Monaco and was a 2-1 loss. They have also played San Marino in a 0-0 friendly as well as some wins against minor footballing outfits in Switzerland and Italy. They are managed by none other than Giovanni Trapattoni.
Their most hyped game was a religious crunch match between themselves and Palestine’s national football team. Unfortunately ‘the heavens’ weren’t on their side and they were smashed 9-1 in Al-Khader by the more professional Palestinian team. There must have been a lot of added time for all those prayer celebrations…
“The sport of football can be a vehicle of education for the values of honesty, solidarity and fraternity, especially for the younger generation” said Pope Benedict XVI, probably after a quality kick around. So football is on the rise in the World’s smallest country but they have one thing hampering their football calendar.
See, the only citizens of Vatican City (and thus the only people eligible to play for them) are pretty much the Swiss Guard, who themselves are normally busy guarding stuff and are only held for a limited amount of time, hence the lack of games.
The football fan Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone hinted that they be allowed to take players from their Catholic Seminaries (religious training schools) around the world, cheekily suggesting that “If we just take the Brazilian students from our Pontifical universities we could have a magnificent squad.” I think it’s time the Vatican did a little less praying on a sunday and a little more attacking drills.