The Pope has spoken.
Pope Francis, while in Poland for the World Youth Day gathering, voiced his opinion as to who is the best soccer player of all time.
Born in Argentina and a big fan of club San Lorenzo, the Pope selected Lionel Messi over Pele and Diego Maradona, per Marca.
“For me, Messi is better than Maradona and Pele,” he said.
Those three are usually the players who come to mind when selecting the best of all time. But the Pope is 79 years old — so he has been alive when all three played at the highest of levels, with Messi the only active one. The fact that he said Messi means a lot considering he has experienced the era of each.
Now, Maradona and Pele both won World Cups with their country, while Messi hasn’t been able to lead his country to cup glory, be it at the World Cup or the Copa America. Argentina has lost a cup final the last three summers with Messi, the most recent being the 2016 Copa America at the end of June. Some feel that Messi must win a trophy with Argentina to be considered the best ever.
Messi announced his retirement from the national team after the loss to Chile, but it remains to be seen if he ever does put the white and blue shirt back on. For the Pope, it doesn’t matter. His mind is made up.