Vatican City: The leader of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has thrown his support behind the five time Ballon d’Or winner Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and considers him the finest footballer in the history of the game.
Barcelona and Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer, Messi, is usually compared with past greats Pele and Diego Maradona and not to forget his going head-to-head battle with current Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
“For me, [Lionel] Messi is better than Maradona and Pele,” Pope Francis was quoted as telling young men and women participating in World Youth Day.
Messi went through a difficult phase when his side Argentina lost to Chile in Copa America Centenario and he stunned the world with his retirement from national team duty after the final loss. Messi missed a crucial penalty in the final which consequently resulted in Argentina’s defeat.
The 29-year-old, though, finally returned to action when FC Barcelona kicked off their La Liga preparations with a 3-1 win over Celtic in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.