The hand-over of god: Pope Francis receives signed Lionel Messi shirt
Argentine Pope receives shirt from Barcelona star
Thursday 18 April 2013
Since his ordinantion, the Pope has made great play of eschewing the flashier robes of office.
But the Argentine clearly found the chance to own a shirt worn by his compatriot Lionel Messi too hard to resist.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner - that's Messi, not the Pope - sent His Holiness a shirt with the words "with much affection", the Vatican said.
Like one of his predecessors, John Paul II, Pope Francis is a keen football fan. He supports Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, one of Argentina's top five clubs, and has been known to give a thumbs up sign to San Lorenzo supporters gathered in Rome's St Peter's Square.
The club even sent him a shirt with the words "Pope Francis. Let us pray for him. Pray for us."
And last Monday he was given another football shirt, this time of the Spain national team, by Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. It was signed by all the players.
Latest in Sport
David De Gea latest: Louis van Gaal wants goalkeeper sold to Real Madrid so Jasper Cillessen can be signed before Saturday
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho continue bitter feud as Chelsea manager claims Arsenal boss ignored chance to shake his hand
Arsenal vs Chelsea player ratings: Was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the star as the Gunners ended their Jose Mourinho hoodoo?
Manchester United and Adidas branded 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' as women's shirt features plunging neckline and different design
Michael Owen quickly becomes a top Twitter trend after being widely criticised for 'boring' commentary during Arsenal vs Chelsea
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality