Journalist Asks Pope Francis If Lionel Messi Is God

Lionel Messi has ascended himself to the status of a footballing God for many fans, but Pope Francis doesn't believe that the Barcelona captain is a deity.

Yes, even the Pope recently had his say on the 31-year-old Argentine ace.

Speaking to Jordi Évole on laSexta's Salvados, the 82-year-old head of the Catholic Church was asked if it was sacrilegious to call Messi a God.

Thanks to Marca for the translation, the exchange between Pope Francis and Évole can be viewed below.

Jordi Évole: "You know when both. Is it sacrilege to say the Messi is God?"

Pope Francis: "In theory, it is sacrilege. You can't say it and I don't believe it. Do you believe it?"

: "I do."

PF: "I don't [laughs]. 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."

: "But he plays well doesn't he?"

PF: "Of course, he is very good, but he isn't God."

The Pope has a love for football and has supported Argentine side San Lorenzo since he was a kid.

Back in 2013, the Argentina captain met with Pope Francis at the Vatican while he was on international duty with his country.

In the ongoing debate that sees Messi pitted against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Pelé and Diego Maradona for the best player to have ever graced the sport, the Pope offered his two cents on the matter before.

That's right, the Pope was asked back in 2016 during World Youth Day who was better out of Maradona and Pelé, with the Catholic Herald reporting that his response was simple: "For me, Messi."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was in action for Barcelona over the weekend, with the Spanish club hosting Espanyol at the Camp Nou.

Messi, who has scored more than 40 times for the tenth consecutive season, scored twice in the match to hand his side all three points, though his Panenka free-kick had many people once again praising his brilliance.

Barcelona will play against Villarreal on Tuesday before hosting Atlético Madrid on Saturday.

Ernesto Valverde's men are at the top of La Liga and are ten points clear of second-placed Atlético.

via GIPHY

With nine matches remaining in La Liga, can Atlético mount a comeback in the title race?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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