It’s a question that has been debated in clubs and bars the world over – just who is the greatest footballer of all time?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but when that someone is Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, you have to take some notice.
During his recent visit to Poland for World Youth Day, a child asked His Holiness: “Who is better, Maradona or Pele?” The Pope did not seem to agree with either, and instead responded: “For me, Messi.”
Pope Francis is a keen supporter of Argentinian club San Lorenzo, so he is well placed to judge Messi, the current star of the country, to old-timer Maradona.
And, given that he is 77, he has been able to watch Messi, Maradona and the Brazilian legend Pele play, so has plenty of knowledge call upon.
Interestingly, he clearly has no time for Cristiano Ronaldo – the man routinely debated as possibly being the best player in the world.
It remains to be seen if the Pope’s blessing is enough to persuade devout Catholic Messi back to the national team.