BUENOS AIRES -- The award for cleverest new-pope headline probably goes to Britain’s Daily Mirror tabloid, which featured a front-page photograph Thursday of Pope Francis raising his right hand from the Vatican balcony. The headline: “The New Hand of God.”
Non-British readers might find the wording uninspiring, possibly a tad impudent. But Britons and Argentines, and dedicated soccer fans, should get the point.
A groan from London, a grin from Buenos Aires.
A link to the Daily Mirror's front page made the rounds on Twitter feeds in the Argentine capital.
The giveaway about the headline's point of reference is a small photo, strategically placed in a circular inset near the new pope’s right hand, depicting a pair of leaping players on a soccer field. No, this is not the Argentine Jesuit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in his sporting youth back on the sandlots of Buenos Aires.
The photo records an infamous moment during the 1986 World Cup quarter final in Mexico City, England versus Argentina.
The image shows the instant when Diego Armando Maradona, the gifted and cheeky Argentine soccer icon, seems to punch the ball away from the outstretched hands of England’s out-witted goal-keeper.