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02nd Apr 2019

Pope Francis doesn’t think we should be calling Lionel Messi “God”

He must be more of a CR7 guy

Darragh Murphy

lionel messi god

Maybe Pope Francis is just more of a Cristiano Ronaldo fan

The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has responded to one of the stranger questions he’s faced in recent years and urged football fans not to refer to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as “God”.

Pope Francis, who like the Barcelona star hails from Argentina, claimed that it is technically sacrilegious to call a football player “God” – the name usually reserved for deities, including the Catholic god.

The 82-year-old is a football fan and a club member of the Buenos Aires team, San Lorenzo, but as the most high-profile representative of Catholicism, he couldn’t be seen to publicly endorse Messi’s divine status.

“In theory, it is sacrilege,” Pope Francis told Spanish TV channel La Sexta on Sunday. “You can’t do it.”

“People could call him God, just as they might say ‘I adore you’, but only God can be worshipped,” he clarified.

“(Saying) ‘he’s a god with the ball on the pitch’ is a popular way to express yourself. He’s great to watch – but he’s not God.”

Pope Francis’ comments came a day after a late Messi brace secured victory for Barcelona in their Catalan derby clash with Espanyol.

The Argentine forward opened the scoring with a gorgeous free kick which looks pretty heavenly to us.