Lionel Messi has been Barcelona’s talisman for over a decade now, and continues to turn in superhuman performances week in, week out. Superlatives like ‘out of this world’ and ‘god-like’ have become commonplace for him.
Many fans, as well as past and current sportspersons have even hailed him as the ‘god of football’.
But apart from Cristiano Ronaldo fans, there is one another man who is not a fans of the ‘god’ moniker being bestowed on the Argentine great.
Pope Francis, interviewed by Jordi Evole of Spanish TV programme La Sexta, said he was not too enthusiastic about such comparisons.
When the interviewer asked if he considers it sacrilege to say that Messi is God, the Pope replied, “In theory, it is sacrilege. You can’t say it and I don’t believe it.
Pope Francis said he doesn’t believe Messi, is god, but accepted that he is a special player.
“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,” he said.
Messi, who has scored 593 goals in 675 appearances for Barcelona, created yet another couple of records as he scored a brace when he turned out against Espanyol in La Liga on Saturday.
His free-kick goal allowed Messi to draw level with former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas as the player with the most wins in the Spanish league. Messi has now been a part of 334 victories with Barca.
To go alongside that, Messi's free kick brought up his 40th goal of the season making it 10 campaigns in a row that he has reached that tally. The last season Messi failed to reach the 40 goal mark was in 2008-09 where he bagged 38 goals.