Pope Francis Ignores Man Utd Star Cristiano Ronaldo, Hands Rival Lionel Messi Special Gift
- Lionel Messi who has been outstanding in the game of football received a special signed shirt from Pope Francis
- The Argentine legend had, in October 2021, handed his fellow countryman a shirt of his new Paris Saint-Germain side
- Messi who sent his signed shirt through the French PM has now received a swap jersey through French bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was a recipient of a signed shirt from fellow Argentine football fanatic Pope Francis, according to the Vatican’s sports association on Monday, Channels TV reports.
The former Barcelona captain who was in action for French club Paris Saint-Germain after suffering from Coronavirus had in October 2021 handed a signed shirt to the pontiff through French Prime Minister, Jean Castex.
In what could be referred to as an unusual short-swap, the Athletica Vaticana — the tiny state’s multi-sport team — was then given to Messi by French bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard.
Gobilliard who is billed to become the Holy See’s delegate to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, said on Twitter.
“A man of faith, Messi told me how important this step was for him. We prayed together.”
Pope is a huge Messi fan
The scrawled signature in black pen by the 85-year old head of the Roman Catholic church was a “blessing” for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Athletica Vaticana said on Facebook.
Francis, a huge fan of the Buenos Aires team, San Lorenzo first met Messi in 2013, shortly after being elected pope.
Messi gifts Pope Francis signed PSG shirt
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi warmed Pope Francis's heart after gifting him a signed Paris Saint-Germain shirt.
The shirt was delivered to the Pope by French Prime Minister Jean Castex during his visit to Vatican City back in October 2021.
Castex visited the Vatican to commemorate 100 years of diplomatic ties between the Holy See and France.
And the French official did not go empty-handed as he delivered a signed PSG shirt to the Pope from gifted by Messi.
Photos of the presentation of the shirt showed Pope Francis all smiles as he gladly received the special gift.
Carragher claims he received an insulting message from Messi
Sports Brief earlier reported that Jamie Carragher has revealed that Lionel Messi once referred to him as a ‘donkey’ in a furious text message.
This was in the wake of the explosive summer transfer window last year that saw Messi move to Paris Saint Germain and Cristiano securing a move back to Manchester United.
With discussion of the two players considered the best in football history, Carragher was not convinced of either signing and he made his sentiments public while on punditry duty.