Barcelona star Lionel Messi ‘not a god’, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis has claimed Barcelona star Lionel Messi ‘is not a god’ and warned against sacrilege, despite watching him play football being ‘a pleasure’.

The Pope claimed his fellow Argentine, who netted a double as the Blaugrana defeated Espanyol 2-0 on Saturday, may be an excellent footballer but was not worthy of worship.

“Theoretically, this is sacrilegious,” the Pope told Spanish TV station La Sexta when asked about the label being applied to the player.

“Of course people use expressions and turns of phrase, and the reference is that he is a god with the ball on the pitch, but people can only adore and worship God.

“Watching Messi play? It is a pleasure, but he is not God.”

Tags Lionel Messi