The Pope: Messi is not God
The head of the Catholic Church spoke in an interview broadcast on Spanish TV on Sunday evening and confirmed that the Argentinean player is not in fact divine.
Barcelona fans like to call their star player Leo Messi, for many the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), D10S - a blend of his shirt number 10 and the letters D and S to make up the Spanish word for God, 'Dios'.
However the Pope, in an interview broadcast on Sunday night on Spanish TV, said that in theory doing so was sacrilege and although Messi is a fine player and great to watch, he is not God.
Interviewer Jordi Évole on the programme 'Salvados' asked the Pope: "You know them both. Is it a sacrilege to say that Messi is God?"
The head of the Catholic Church replied: "In theory it's a sacrilege. You can't say that."
"People could call him God, just as they might say 'I adore you', but only God can be worshipped.
"[To say] '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."
Messi may not be God, but still the GOAT
The Pope has previously said that Messi is "the greatest footballer of all time". In a lunch with young members of the Catholic Church during World Youth Day in 2016 Pope Francis was asked whether Maradona or Pele was better. "For me, Messi" replied the pontiff.