Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome and Sovereign of the Vatican City.
Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been celebrated for his humility, his emphasis on God’s mercy, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to interfaith dialogue.
Just like anyone however, the Pope has his favorite indulgences. Here is the Pope’s top four and one he has in common with Christiano Ronaldo.
Christiano Ronaldo, who plays for Real Madrid and the Portugal national team, is often ranked as the best player in the world and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time.
But no, the Pope is not like Ronaldo in that way. In fact, he does not even match up to lesser football performers like Manchester United Midfielder, Marouane Fellaini.
Although the Pope cannot play football very well, calling himself a “patadura”- someone who is not very good at kicking the ball at an interview with the TyC Sports of Argentina, he is a big soccer fan.
Speaking to Catholic about his favorite soccer team during his youth, San Lorenzo de Almagro he said, “In 1946, I went to all the games.”
The Pope, who played soccer in his neighborhood as a child, also reminisced about going to soccer matches with his family when he visited the Argentine soccer players in 2013.
Like most Argentines, Pope Francis is passionate about Argentina’s Club San Lorenzo.
He met them in August 2014 acknowledging that the club was part of his “cultural identity”.
He was filmed shaking hands with team members, who brought along the trophy, and grinned when he was given a red-and-blue team jersey before posing for photos with the squad.
The Argentine soccer club once announced it would be naming its new stadium after the Pope, who some have joked has helped the team out with some divine intervention.
Pope Francis is no foodie, but he loves his Gnocchi (pronounced “nyoh-kee”), which means “lumps” in Italian, and refers to a thick, pillowy dumpling.
Available fresh, frozen, or dried, the pasta is made from a potato dough, flour, farina, or semolina, which is rolled into long cylinder shapes, cut into bite-sized pieces, and sometimes decorated with forked ridges.
They are boiled, baked, or sautéed, then served in a tomato, pesto, cheese, or butter-based sauce.
He loves it so much that in April, after noticeable weight gain, one of Italy’s leading news services reported that Italian doctors asked the pontiff to cut back his pasta consumption to just two meals a week.
Amidst his hectic travel schedule and frequent public engagements, he was also advised to take more time for walks and exercise.
Pope Francis is obviously a fan of his heritage and this has influenced his taste in music.
He loves tango music, which is a very big part of the grand history of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina.
You can find the tango all over Buenos Aires: in its mythical cafes, at the milongas (a place or an event where tango is danced), and by walking around the city’s authentic neighborhoods.
The Pope also used to dance the tango during his youth, and admits to being a fan of national music legend Carlos Gardel.
“I like it a lot. It’s something that comes from within me,” the 78-year-old said during an interview in 2010, according to NDTV.
Pope Francis revealed to an Italian journal in 2013 that he read Italian novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni’s historical novel ‘I promessi sposi’ (The Betrothed) three times – and said that it was beside his table because he wanted to read again as “Manzoni gave me so much”.
The pontiff said that his grandmother had taught him by heart the beginning of ‘The Betrothed’.
‘The Betrothed’ is regarded as one of the masterpieces of world literature.
It is symbolic of the Italian Risorgimento because of its patriotic message and significant contribution to the development of the modern Italian language.
However, Pope Francis is not only passionate about reading literature.
According to National Catholic Reporter, the Pope was 28-years-old when he taught literature at the Jesuit-run School of the Immaculate Conception in Santa Fe, Argentina, as revealed in an interview with a former student, Jorge Milia.
Jorge Milia, today an Argentine writer, revealed in a lengthy interview then-Fr. Jorge Bergoglio’s approach to education and teaching methods, which also shed light on his pastoral style as Pope.
“He’d break up a more cumbersome piece of reading with a snippet of poetry that moved every one of us so much that, 50 years later, many of us still remember the whole thing by heart,” she intimated.
His signature style was one of accompaniment, Milia added.