Pope Francis has warned that calling football legend Lionel Messi ‘God’ is sacrilege.
While Barcelona fans call their ace striker Messi by his nickname ‘D10S’ – a combination of the Spanish word for God – ‘Dios’ – and his number 10 shirt – the Holy Father insisted that the Argentine must not be called God.
“In theory, it is sacrilege,” the pope said in an interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta. “It shouldn’t be said. I do not believe it.
“People could call him God, just as they might say ‘I adore you’, but only God can be worshipped.
“[Saying] ‘He’s a god with the ball on the pitch’ is a popular way to express yourself.
“He’s great to watch – but he’s not God.”
This week’s Premier League fixtures:
Tuesday 2nd April
Watford v Fulham – 7:45pm
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United – 7:45pm
Wednesday 3rd April
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion – 7:45pm
Manchester City v Cardiff City – 7:45pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace – 7:45pm
Friday 5th April
Southampton v Liverpool – 8:00pm
Picture: Lionel Messi. (Pressinphoto/SIPA USA/PA).