Pope Francis Gifts Lionel Messi Signed Vaticana Shirt

          (Pope Francis signing the jersey)

On Monday, Pope Francis signed a jersey of Athletica Vaticana for football star, Lionel Messi. The yellow jersey had a signature connoting "blessing", the Vatican’s sports association said. In October, Paris Saint-Germain player, Messi, had given the pope a signed piece of kit via the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex.

In return, Messi got the yellow jersey of the state's sports team, Athletica Vaticana, from the Pope through French bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard.

“A man of faith, Messi told me how important this step was for him. We prayed together,” Gobilliard, who will be the Holy See’s delegate to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, said on Twitter.

According to Athletica Vaticana, the black pen signature by the 85-year old head of the Roman Catholic church was a “blessing” for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. Pope Francis has been a huge fan of Messi. They met in 2013. 

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