Pope Francis’ stop in the United States has grabbed headlines all week with stops in Washington D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia. The Pontiff is a known soccer fan, he is a lifelong supporter of San Lorenzo from his hometown of Buenos Aires, and D.C. United used some connections to get him a #10 D.C. United.
The idea to present the jersey was thought up by Paul Hill, a fan of the Black-and-Red, who also had the right connections to make it happen. Hill was once married to Courtney Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert F Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.
With the plan in place, United’s General Manager worked out the details.
“We jumped on it,” Kasper told the Washington Post’s Steven Goff. “The biggest question was: What number do you give the Pope? The obvious choice was ‘1.’
But went on to add, “Any time you give a gift to an Argentine who likes soccer it has to be 10.” Two of the greatest players of all-time, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, are both Argentine and they both wear the #10 jersey.
The jersey was not given directly to the Pope but a papal aid assured that it would be handed to the Pope.