SportsMessi receives an autographed Vatican shirt autographed by Pope...

Messi receives an autographed Vatican shirt autographed by Pope Francis


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Exchanging tunics between compatriots: Argentine football star Lionel Messi received a jersey autographed by Pope Francis after having offered him his own, the Vatican sports association announced on Monday. The Parisian striker received the jersey on Sunday from the hands of Mgr Emmanuel Gobilliard, auxiliary bishop of Lyon and delegate for the Holy See of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“A man of faith, Messi told me how important this step was for him. We prayed together, ”tweeted Bishop Gobilliard with a photo alongside the Argentine star holding the yellow jersey in his hands, and another, rather improbable, alongside a Neymar in gangsta rap mode, wrapped in a fur. a questionable taste, you might say.

The circle is complete

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“The exchange of jerseys between the pope and the Argentine star is now complete,” adds Athletica Vaticana: in October, Prime Minister Jean Castex presented Pope Francis with Messi’s autographed jersey, flocked with the number 30, in the colors of Paris Saint Germain.

The Argentine pontiff, a great football fan – he has been a supporter of the Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo since his childhood – thanked him and congratulated him on his “simplicity”. Messi and Jorge Bergoglio, elected pope in March 2013, also met in August of the same year at the Vatican.

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