His Holiness, Pope Francis, has disclosed that Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi is not “God” but that he understands why people refer to the 31-year-old as if he is.
Pope Francis, who is from the same country with Messi, stated this after the Barcelona number 10 scored a brace in his side’s 2-0 victory over Espanyol in the La Liga over the weekend.
When asked if it was a sacrilege to call Messi “God,” thus breaking the third commandment by using the Lord’s name in vain, Pope Francis told Spanish TV La Sexta show, “Salvados”: “In theory, it’s a sacrilege.
“You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. I think people say ‘he is God’ just as they say ‘I adore you.’ You have to adore only God. It’s expressions that people use. This is a god with the ball on the pitch. It’s a popular way that people have of expressing themselves. Of course, it is a joy to watch Messi play. But he is not God.”
Messi has been impressive for Barcelona so far this season.
The forward has scored 16 in 12 Champions League appearances to help Ernesto Valverde’s men reach the quarterfinals where they will tackle Manchester United.
The Argentine international has also helped Barca to progress to the Copa del Rey final.