Ever since he made his professional debut for FC Barcelona, people have had nothing but the highest of praises for Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest soccer player in the history of the game.
The Argentinean is one of the most successful players ever, leading the Catalans to the greatest of glories and the best tenure in team history, even though he hasn't been able to replicate that success with his national team.
Perhaps that's why one of his most famous compatriots, Pope Francis, is reluctant to compare Messi to a God or anything like that.
"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," Pope Francis told Spanish TV Show Salvados.
Naturally, him being a Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro supporter and an Argentinean, he's unwilling to give Lio praise because of his past with Newells and the heart-breaking loss at the World Cup.
God or not, we can all agree that we're fortunate to be able to watch Lionel Messi's entire career and hopefully, he'll continue to delight us for many more years before hanging the cleats.