Pope Francis has cautioned football addicts obsessed with Barcelona talismanic forward, Lionel Messi, to resist the temptation of referring or comparing him to God. The pontiff said such amounts to sacrilege.
The head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City state, said there was nothing wrong in appreciating expertise, but adoring should only be for God.
The Pope, who is also from Argentina, Messi’s home country, said this while speaking on Spanish TV channel, La Sexta.
He was asked whether it was sin to say the 31-year-old is God, he replied:
“In theory it is sacrilege, you cannot say it, I don’t believe. Do you believe you can?” he queried.
“People say ‘God’ like they say ‘I adore you’. Adoring is only for God, they are expressions people use. ‘He is a god with a ball on the pitch’, they are popular ways of expressing oneself.”
He was asked again if he saw how the player plays, the Pope retorted:
“Of course, he brings happiness, but he isn’t God.”
The Pope previously admitted to being a football fan, and disclosed that he supports Argentine top-flight side, San Lorenzo de Almagro.