Pope Francis has said that, whilst Lionel Messi is undoubtedly a great player, he is not God. However, the head of the Catholic church also said he doesn’t believe the player’s D10S moniker to be sacrilegious.
Throughout Messi’s Barcelona career, many fans have referred to him as a God as a result of his footballing ability, creating the nickname D10S, as combination of his shirt number and the Spanish word for God.
The forward is widely recognised as one of the greatest of all time, even earning praise from his countryman Pope Francis, who discussed comparisons between the Barcelona forward and Lord Almighty
Speaking on La Sexta’s Salvados show, the Pope accepted that the idea that calling Messi a God is a common expression of adoration and not blasphemous. However, he also made it clear that Messi is not a God.
When asked whether it is sacrilegious to call Messi God, Pope Francis replied: “In theory, it is sacrilege… but I don’t believe it.”
He added: “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.
“Of course, he is very good, but he isn’t God.”
His club form has been nothing short of sensational across the last 15 years. However, many have criticised his lack of success with his international side Argentina. Messi has managed 65 goals in 129 appearances for his country which, despite still being an incredible record, is not as impressive as his club form.