FIRST WORD

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS -

Of course it is a joy (to watch Messi play). But he is not God.”

Pope Fran­cis, in an in­ter­view with Span­ish TV La Sexta’s show “Sal­va­dos,” on how he agrees that fel­low Ar­gen­tinian and soc­cer star Lionel Messi has heav­enly abil­ity on the field, but he is not go­ing to re­fer to him as “God.” The first pope from Latin Amer­ica is an avid soc­cer fan and has a col­lec­tion of soc­cer jer­seys that fans have thrown to him at events.

MOSA’AB ELSHAMY/AP

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