Lionel Messi says he doesn’t like being called ‘God’ by fans.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is often given holy nicknames for his magical abilities on the pitch, isn’t particularly fond of being compared to God.
In fact, when speaking to Catalan publicationRAC1about the subject in a wide-ranging interview, Messi said: “I’m not worried by it, but it’s true that I don’t like it.
“It’s nice to be praised because people are being respectful. They don’t say it with any ill intent, but actually, with the complete opposite. But I think it’s very exaggerated to call me that.”
Messi, who joined MLS side Inter Miami this summer, gets called ‘the god of football’ on a fairly regularly basis.
And his son Matteo might end up jumping on the bandwagon. He added: “Because of my sons, the age they have, they hear things and they copy them. My son, Mateo, calls me ‘Leo Messi,” [he’ll say,] ‘let’s go Leo Messi!'”
Messi doesn’t like being called “god”/”D10S” by fans. He says he understands it’s meant as a compliment, but he finds it “very exaggerated.”pic.twitter.com/OI1ZFqrUne
— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) October 9, 2019
Back in 2018, a journalist sought clarification from Pope Francis as to whether Messi is in fact God and it resulted in a quite hilariously brilliant exchange.
Speaking to Jordi Évole on laSexta’s Salvados, translated byMarca,the 82-year-old head of the Catholic Church was asked if it was sacrilegious to call Messi a God.
Jordi Évole: “You know when both. Is it sacrilege to say the Messi is God?”
Pope Francis: “In theory, it is sacrilege. You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. Do you believe it?”
JÉ: “I do.”
PF: “I don’t [laughs]. People can say he is God, just as they may say ‘I adore you,’ but only God can be worshipped. Those are expressions from people. ‘This is a God with the ball on the field’ is a popular way for someone to express themselves.”
JÉ: “But he plays well doesn’t he?”
PF: “Of course, he is very good, but he isn’t God.”
The Pope met Messi at the Vatican in 2013 when the Argentina captain was on international duty and three years later he went on record to state that the Barcelona superstar is the GOAT.
When asked who was better out of Maradona and Pelé, theCatholic Heraldsay his response was “For me, Messi.”