Pope Francis is one of the most respected figures in the world today because of the role he plays as the leader of nations and the spiritual head of millions of homes but he like a lot of people follows the game of football and has glowingly endorsed Barcelona star Lionel Messi as the best footballer of all-time ahead of Pele and Diego Maradona.
The 79-year-old endorsed his fellow Argentine during a World Youth Day event when he was addressing young men and women.
Messi who has picked up five Ballon D’Or award is currently the all-time top goalscorer of Barcelona and Argentina but has consistently been mentioned alongside Pele, Maradona, and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best footballers of all-time.
But, Pope Francis who is a renowned San Lorenzo fan has categorically stated that Messi is the very best on the list.
“For me, [Lionel] Messi is better than Maradona and Pele,” Pope Francis said.
Messi has won every trophy available at club level but he is yet to lift a major tournament with Argentina although he was part of the Olympic team that won in 2008 here they beat Nigeria in the final by 1-0 but he has endured three defeats in major finals – twice at the Copa America and the FIFA World Cup.