Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the newly elected Pope Francis, may have played football in his youth with fellow celebrity Argentinian Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Di Stéfano, who UEFA chief Michel Platini once called “a great amongst the greats”, wrote in his regular column in Spanish sports daily Marca that he and Pope Francis attended the same school and lived closed to each other in Buenos Aires.
The former Real Madrid forward and former coach is 10 years older than 76-year-old Bergoglio.
Di Stefano, Sepp Blatter’s childhood hero, wrote:
As you can imagine his election filled me with enormous joy.
The Pope was probably one of those kids with whom I played football in the street.
In the neighbourhood we put together proper matches with everyone against everyone until it got dark.
You’ll have to ask him because at that time I was the famous one, from when I was very small, as I belonged to the River Plate youth academy, everyone knew me.
Alfredo Di Stéfano is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, was twice named European Footballer of the Year (in 1957 and 1959) and scored 216 goals in 282 games for Real Madrid.
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Spotted on The Independent