Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reportedly looking to complete a deal that would make him a part owner of Pope Francis’ favorite soccer team.
Trump and business partner Alessandro Proto have sent a statement of interest to purchase Club Atletico San Lorenzo di Almagro, or San Lorenzo, one of the better known teams in Argentina, a source told The New York Post. Proto is reportedly the inspiration for the title character in Fifty Shades of Grey.
“Obviously for [Mr. Trump] it would be a great goal!” the source told The Post, who noted that “for the moment it is only the first phase.” A spokesman for San Lorenzo told The Post Thursday that no official bids have been made.
Pope Francis, who was known as Jorge Bergoglio until his election to the papacy, has supported the club since he was a boy. Trump spoke fondly of the pope in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo last week.
“Well I’m Protestant. I have great respect for the pope,” Trump said. “I like the pope. I actually like him. He’s becoming very political, there’s no question about it. But I like him. He seems like a pretty good guy.”
This is not Trump and Proto’s first foray into trying to purchase a soccer club in South America. The Post noted the duo bid $100 million earlier this month for Atletico Nacional, a Colombian club. But the bid was rejected, and Trump and Proto walked away from a counteroffer of $150 million.
“National wants $150 million to sell the club. For us, the proposal is unacceptable. Maybe they think we’re stupid,’’ Trump said in a statement. “We had offered $100 million and that it was an important offer. We are not willing to offer more and continue negotiations. For us it is permanently closed. Now we will evaluate other clubs in Colombia, but not only.”
San Lorenzo won the Copa Libertadores, a competition among the best teams in South America, in 2014. It was the first time the club had ever accomplished the feat. To celebrate the occasion, San Lorenzo presented the trophy to Pope Francis at the Vatican.
“I am very happy about it, but, no, it is not a miracle,” the pontiff said at the time. “For me, San Lorenzo was the team all my family supported. My father played in the basketball team and when we were kids, we sometimes went to the stadium with mom.”
— Slade Sohmer (@Slade) August 20, 2014
In March 2013, the club wore a special jersey with Pope Francis’ image on the center to mark his election to the papacy. He had only been elected by the papal conclave earlier that week.
— Rafael Garate (@rafagarate) March 17, 2013
Is this a cunning move by Trump to attract more Catholic and Hispanic voters? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth