Visiting Rome, Jean Castex will offer a Messi jersey to Pope Francis

The Prime Minister will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday, October 18. And as tradition dictates, he will not come empty-handed.

No way to arrive empty-handed. Prime Minister Jean Castex to meet Pope Francis on the occasion an official visit to the Vatican on Monday, October 18. And as is customary, the head of government will arrive with gifts for the Sovereign Pontiff. According to our information, it will be a signed jersey of Lionel Messi, Argentinian like the Pope, and a copy of the first edition of Notre Dame of Parisby Victor Hugo.

If the French literary reference should please Pope Francis, the football shirt is clearly a nod to his love for the football. The Sovereign Pontiff is known to be a big fan of the San Lorenzo club, based in Buenos Aires. And even if Leo Messi is a child of Rosario and started his career in the ranks of Newell’s Old Boys, there is no doubt that the Pope will appreciate receiving the jersey of the Argentine genius.

Pope Francis, a fan of Messi?

On several occasions, he had the opportunity to express his admiration for the player who arrived at Paris Saint-Germain this summer. In a 2016 interview, the pope said that according to him, Messi was better than legends Pelé and Maradona. And for Spanish television in 2019, he even said that he was not shocked by the comparison between Lionel Messi and God, regularly made by football fans.

Argentina football fans proudly display their love for Leo Messi, Diego Maradona and Pope Francis
Argentine football fans proudly display their love for Leo Messi, Diego Maradona and Pope Francis © MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

The two have also met in the past, in the Vatican, during a match between Italy and Argentina. Lionel Messi had already offered a jersey to Pope Francis. With the visit of Jean Castex, the Sovereign Pontiff will therefore be able to continue to enrich his collection.

By Élisa Bertholomey, with Louis Augry

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