Both Lionel Messi and Pope Francis are globally acknowledged Argentine citizens. It is also well-known that Pope Francis is a football fan.
The Barcelona forward is also a religious person. Messi has a tattoo of Jesus on his right shoulder: The Pope’s favourite team is believed to be the Argentinean Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro. The pontiff has met several Argentinean football players including Diego Maradona and Messi.
According to Spanish publication, Tribuna, Marca, a publication in Argentina quoted journalist Jordi Evole and Pope Francis’s discussion on La Sexta. The two touched upon the topic of Lionel Messi and the ‘religion’ created by the player’s fans:
Evole: “Is it sacrilege to say the Messi is God?”
Pope: “In theory, it is sacrilege. You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. Do you believe it?”
Evole: “I do.”
Pope: “I don’t
. People can say he is God, just as they may say ‘I adore you’ but only God can be worshipped. Those are expressions from people. ‘This is a God with the ball on the field’ is a popular way for someone to express themselves.”
Evole: “But he plays well doesn’t he? Pope Francis: Of course, he is very good, but he isn’t God.”