Published: Wed, April 03, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Messi Is Not God! - Pope Francis

Messi Is Not God! - Pope Francis

Lionel Messi was named among the substitutes for Barcelona's LaLiga trip to Villarreal on Tuesday.

During the summer of 2013, Messi and the rest of the Albiceleste squad took in a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Barcelona fans often call Messi "D10S" - a combination of the Spanish word for God, "dios" - with the number 10 on his shirt. "Do you believe you can?" he said in an interview with Salvados.

A five-time Ballon d'Or victor may not seem human to some, but Pope Francis feels it is wrong to bestow labels of "God" onto those who are mere mortals.

The pontiff said of his compatriot: "People can say he is God, just as they may say "I adore you" but only God can be worshiped".

"It's expressions that people use. "This is a God with the ball on the field" is a popular way for someone to express themselves".

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Former newspaper editor, television presenter and avid football fan Piers, who is an ardent supporter of Premier League team Arsenal, was unsurprisingly quick to add his double-edged input, claiming he sided with the Pope - partially.

Messi and his worldwide team-mates also sent a signed shirt to Pope Francis on the back of their display at the 2014 World Cup which saw them finish as runners-up to Germany.

Barcelona forward Messi has scored 31 goals, including both in the 2-0 derby victory over Espanyol, and set up 12 more in 27 league games for the La Liga leaders. had earlier reported that Lionel Messi keeps showing why he is regarded as the greatest of all time byscoring his 40th goal of the season in all competition.

Speaking about Messi's skill, Pope Francis said: "Of course, he brings happiness, but he isn't God".

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