In Brief

Pope Francis: Lionel Messi is great to watch, but he’s not God

The Pontiff warns fans against comparing the Barcelona striker with God

Lionel Messi has been described as many things for his achievements on the football pitch but he should not be compared to God.

That’s the view of Pope Francis who was asked by a reporter about how the Barcelona star was nicknamed “D10S”.

Sky News says the term is a combination of the Spanish word for God, “dios”, and the striker’s No.10 shirt.

In an interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta, Pope Francis said of the Messi-God comparisons: “In theory, it is sacrilege. It shouldn’t be said. I do not believe it.

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

“[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.”

Like Messi, 82-year-old Pope Francis is from Argentina. The head of the Catholic Church is a keen football fan, says The Irish Times, and is a club member of Buenos Aires team San Lorenzo.

Goal.com reports that Messi and the Argentina squad met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2013. Barca star Messi said the meeting was “short but beautiful”.

Recommended

Forget titles, Newcastle’s first battle is to avoid relegation
Newcastle’s new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and part-owner Amanda Staveley
View from the terraces

Forget titles, Newcastle’s first battle is to avoid relegation

Exiles, revolting prisoners and sporting health
Bashar al-Assad
Podcast

Exiles, revolting prisoners and sporting health

The Ashes: a tough task for England down under
Ben Stokes: England’s missing talisman
In Focus

The Ashes: a tough task for England down under

‘Poisoned chalice’: a tough job for Raducanu’s next coach
Emma Raducanu was beaten by Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Indian Wells
In Focus

‘Poisoned chalice’: a tough job for Raducanu’s next coach

Popular articles

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

Why some PCR results are negative after a positive lateral flow test
Pupils at a school in Halifax line up for lateral flow tests
Why we’re talking about . . .

Why some PCR results are negative after a positive lateral flow test

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

The Week Footer Banner