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Apr 15, 2013

Pope Francis gets signed Spain jersey

VATICAN CITY -- Soccer-mad Pope Francis is building quite a collection of team jerseys.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Francis a national jersey signed by all the players during a 25-minute audience Monday in the Apostolic Palace.

The pope quipped: "Just like the San Lorenzo one!"

Last week, members of Francis' beloved Buenos Aires team offered him a club jersey during the pope's general audience and got a papal shout-out in Spanish. Francis is a lifelong San Lorenzo fan and became a club member (ID No. 88235) in 2008.

A few weeks ago, a fan gave Francis another San Lorenzo jersey as the pope drove through St. Peter's Square.

Italy has invited Argentina to play a friendly this summer; Italy coach Cesare Prandelli hopes it will be preceded by a papal audience.

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