- Lionel Messi is a divinely skilled forward – a soccer player so good that the pope himself had to clarify he’s not actually God.
- A Spanish TV journalist recently asked Pope Francis whether comparing the Argentine FC Barcelona star to God was sacrilegious.
- In theory, the pope said, it is. He did go on to say, however, that Messi was “very good.”
- He’s just not God.
Lionel Messi is not actually God, according to Pope Francis.
The Argentine FC Barcelona soccer star is a divinely skilled forward who is known to glide past defenders with gravity-defying maneuvers before duping a goalkeeper and scoring heavenly goals.
Earlier in the season he overcome a fractured arm, recovering within three weeks and now finding himself the top-scoring athlete in the European game by four clear goals. This season more than ever he has cast an inescapable shadow over his rivals Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo because of the consistent nature of his awe-inspiring displays.
But, regardless, he’s still not God … is he?
When the “Salvados” TV host Jordi Évole asked the pope whether comparing Messi to God was sacrilegious, the pope replied “In theory, it’s sacrilege – you can’t say it,” as translated by the Business Insider editor Ruqayyah Moynihan.
Pope Francis went on: “I don’t believe it … do you?”
When Évole said he did, the pope finished: “I don’t.”
Watch the exchange below:
— Salvados (@salvadostv) March 31, 2019
The Independent reported a further translation: “People can say he is God, just as they may say, ‘I adore you,’ but only God can be worshipped. Those are just things people say.
“‘He is a god with the ball on the field’ is a popular way for someone to express themselves.”
Pope Francis, who is Argentine, concluded by remarking that Messi was “very good” but “isn’t God.”
The pope and Messi have met once, when numerous soccer players enjoyed a private audience at the Vatican ahead of an internatinal match between Argentina and Italy in August 2013.
The pope was reportedly asked at the time whether he had given a blessing for the Argentina team, a question he “gracefully dodged,” according to USA Today.