Pope Francis has his say on the best footballer in history
12:54, Thursday, 02 November, 2023
Two days after Lionel Messi was awarded his eighth Ballon d'Or, on the same day as Diego Maradona's birthday, their fellow countryman Pope Francis has spoken of their legendary footballing talents – as well as their off-pitch behaviour.
In an interview with the RAI1 news programme in Italy, the Buenos Aires-born pontiff was given a question that arouses passions across the football world. Who was the greatest? Messi or Maradona?
"I would add a third, Pelé," responded the pontiff, putting the iconic Brazilian number 10, who won three World Cups, on the list of greatest-ever players.
"They are the three I have followed. All three are great, each with his own speciality. At the moment Messi is very good," revealed Francis in an interview with Gian Marco Chiocci, director of the TG1 news programme.