He, however, admitted that he understands why football fans call the Argentine a “God.”
Pope Francis stated this after the Barcelona number 10 scored a brace in his side’s 2-0 victory over Espanyol in the La Liga over the weekend.
And when asked if it was a sacrilege to call Messi “God,” thus breaking the third commandment by using the Lord’s name in vain, Pope Francis told Spanish TV La Sexta show, “Salvados”: “In theory, it’s a sacrilege.
“You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. I think people say ‘he is God’ just as they say ‘I adore you.’ You have to adore only God.
“It’s expressions that people use. This is a god with the ball on the pitch. It’s a popular way that people have of expressing themselves. Of course, it is a joy to watch Messi play. But he is not God.”
Messi, 31, has scored 16 in 12 Champions League games to help Ernesto Valverde’s men reach the quarterfinals where they faceManchester United.