Barcelona may have Pope Benedict XVI to thank for a magnificent turnaround in Champions League play.

That's because historically, during times when the cardinals are meeting to select the next Pope, the Spanish squad has performed quite well.

This week's 4-0 drubbing of AC Milan in the second leg of its Champions League matchup is actually the third time the squad has beaten an opponent by that score during a papal conclave. In October 1958, during the deliberations that eventually resulted in the naming of Pope John XXIII, Barcelona defeated Madrid 4-0. Then, in October 1978, when the cardinals were in the process of selecting Pope John Paul II, Barcelona defeated Las Palmas by a score of, you guessed it, 4-0.

Barcelona's record during papal conclaves isn't perfect. Eight years ago, just before the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Barcelona lost to Real Madrid, 4-2, and drew against Betis, 3-3.

Unfortunately for Barcelona, reports indicate that the papal conclave is over and the next Pope has been selected. Luckily, the squad shouldn't need much help for its Spanish League game this weekend against Rayo Vallecano.

(H/T to Game On!)

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