Pope Francis: Messi is good but he is not God

Two goals from Messi gave Barcelona victory in the Catalan derby over Espanyol on Sunday, taking the Liga leaders another step closer to the title.

Pope Francis has said his Argentinian compatriot Lionel Messi is not "God" yet understands why people refer to him as if he is.

Messi has been impressive for Barcelona so far this season.

The pope said that while he understands why the five-time Ballon d'Or victor, who is also his compatriot, earned fame as one of the world's best football players, he stressed that fans shouldn't use the Lord's name when talking about Messi's sports feats.

He was interviewed by Jordi Evole in La Sexta and the conversation is detailed below.

Messi is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, with five Balon D'Or and five European Golden Shoe awards to his name. "You can't say it and I don't believe it". However, the head of the Catholic church also said he doesn't believe the player's D10S moniker to be sacrilegious.

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Moving on, Barcelona and Lionel Messi are in preparations to face English giants Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League Quarter-finals fixtures. I think people say "he is God" just as they say 'I adore you.' You have to adore only God.

Pope Francis: I don't [laughs].

"It's expressions that people use". "This is a God with the ball on the field" is a popular way for someone to express themselves.

During the summer of 2013, Messi and the rest of the Albiceleste squad took in a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

However, he is yet to play in a World Cup-winning side for his native Argentina.

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