Cardinal Bergolio: Life Before Pope Francis

The newly elected pontiff comes from Argentina and is an avid soccer fan.
3:19 | 03/14/13

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Transcript for Cardinal Bergolio: Life Before Pope Francis
I'll miss being inork for our patronal feast day. To y too. More to pope francis. Outpour emotion about his selection in latin perk and cecilia vega is in vatican city with a much closer look from being a chemist to the spiritual leader of 1 billion catholics around the world. It was a great day for you, yesterday, I know to be there. Reporter: What an amazing story and experience. Elizabeth, good morning. When pope francis stepped onto that balcony, the tens of thousands of people here in st. Peter's square were cheering, they were crying, they were praying. It was simply electric. In so many ways this is a pope unlike any other. He is in a word a contradiction. A pious and humble man who dances the tango, loves wine and like most argentineans is an avid soccer fan with a team jersey and club membership card to prove it. A well liked but shy cardinal who chooses to sit in the back row at meetings. A man who is now the leader of the catholic church. A jesuit at 76 years old, he comes from a part of the world which has never before produced a pontiff. And while today he is francis, to those who knew him as a child, he was simply jorge. "We used to play soccer in the plaza. He was very studous from a very catholic family and nice people." Reporter: The son of an italian railway worker, jorge mario bergoglio and his four siblings grew up in buenos aires, an infection as a teenager cost him his lung but not his spirit. After studying chemistry he went to seminary becoming a priest when he was 32. Until now, the pope has led a frugal life. When he became a cardinal he reportedly sold off the church mansion, opting to live in a small room in this downtown building with a simple bed and a small stove for heat. ♪ and he cooks his own meals. Passing up those famous argentinean steaks for skinless chicken breasts. He is also legendary for his compassion for the poor. As a priest he reportedly once gave all the money in his wallet to help the homeless family who wrote to him. But he is not without controversy either. Creating buzz when he chastised priests for refusing to baptize the children of single mothers and criticized for not speaking out against his country's military dictatorship in th THE '70s AND '80s. He's a man quietly charismatic. He wins affection by his gentleness and sim politicianty but not by being an actor. Reporter: Not an actor his fellow cardinals say but kind and surprisingly funny. He toasted us and he simply said, may god forgive you. In other words, I hope you don't regret this later. Reporter: Now, pope john paul ii made bergoglio a cardinal in 2001. When that happened his parishioners in argentina reportedly raised money to throw him a party. He said, thank you but told them to donate that own to the poor instead and he ended up celebrating alone. Now, all eyes are on pope francis to see how he carries over that sense of humility here at the vatican. Elizabeth.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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