popePope Francis has claimed he hasn’t watched TV since 1990 after making a promise to the Virgin Mary, telling himself: “It’s not for me”.

An avid football fan, the Pope, who hails from Argentina, is a devoted supporter of San Lorenzo de Almagro, based in Buenos Aires.

However, he has to ask a Swiss Guard to update him on match results and league table positions because he cannot follow his team’s progress on TV.

In an interview with an Argentinian newspaper, he claimed there was no particular reason for his vow – only that he decided: “It’s not for me.”

He told La Voz del Pueblo: “I have not watched TV since 1990. It’s a promise that I made the Virgin of Carmen on the night of 15 July 1990. I told myself, ‘It’s not for me’.

And he insists he won’t make an exception for his football team.

He said: “I watch nothing. There is a Swiss Guard that every week tells me the results and how we are doing in the league table.”

The Pope says he does not use the internet either, and reads just one newspaper every day, for ten minutes in the morning.

Since his election two years ago, the Bishop of Rome has kept up a whirlwind of work, previously claiming that he has not enjoyed a holiday since 1994.

But he admits his workload is taking its toll.

He said: “I am under pressure. All those in government are under pressure. At the moment I feel the workload.

“I have a strong pace of work at the moment – it’s the end of the school year syndrome with the focus on getting everything done before the end of June. There are a thousand things to be done and there are problems.”

The Pope also claimed that he had never dreamed of being head of the Catholic Church.

And the thing he misses most about his previous life? Going for a pizza.

He said: “Takeaway is not the same. You have to go there.”