BY CBS SPORTS
f there was any doubt, Lionel Messi isn’t actually God, according to the head of the Catholic Church. But he still is a god with the ball. Pope Francis told Spanish TV show La Sexta that his fellow Argentine is not God but he gets why people often use the name to describe him.
The Barcelona superstar is once again tearing it up, reaching 40 goals for the 10th straight season. He’s got Barca atop the La Liga table, in the Copa del Rey final and alive in the Champions League. Pope Francis, a big soccer fan himself and supporter of Buenos Aires-based club San Lorenzo, praised the player but wanted to put it all into perspective.
“You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. I think people say ‘he is God’ just as they say ‘adore you.’ You have to adore only God. It’s expressions that people use,” Pope Francis said. “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.”
God, greatest of all time, one of the world’s best — whatever you want to call Messi, all seem to be acceptable considering the impact he’s had on the game in his historic career.
But now the question is, does the Pope approve enough of Messi to allow him to kiss the his ring?
You can watch Messi play for Barcelona and the Argentina national team on fuboTV (Try for free).