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

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?
The 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham
Behind the scenes

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend
Erling Haaland scored both goals on his Premier League debut for Manchester City
View from the terraces

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend

F1 ‘silly season’ hits top speed as 2023 grid takes shape
Oscar Piastri denied he would be driving for Alpine in 2023
Behind the scenes

F1 ‘silly season’ hits top speed as 2023 grid takes shape

Football club accidentally names stand after Rose West
rose-west.jpg
Tall Tales

Football club accidentally names stand after Rose West

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Why cats prefer people who hate them
A cat
Tall Tales

Why cats prefer people who hate them

The Week Footer Banner