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‘He’s a man of great humanity’: Pope Francis names favourite footballer



The head of the Catholic Church, the bishop of Rome, and sovereign of the Vatican City State, Pope Francis has named late football icon Pele as his favourite footballer.

In a commemorative event for World War II soldiers, Francis was asked to choose between Messi and the late Maradona by TV station TG1.

The 86-year-old replied that Pele is his favourite, citing the late Brazilian’s humility as the reason behind his choice.

Speaking on the matter, Francis said (via GOAL): “I would add a third, Pele. They are the three I have followed.

“All three are great, each with his speciality. At the moment Messi is very good.”

He added, “Maradona as a man failed, poor thing, he slipped, the people around him didn’t help him. He came to see me the first year [I was pontiff]. [His life] ended badly. It’s funny, many sportsmen end badly, even in boxing. It’s curious.”

“Messi is very correct, he is a gentleman. Among these three, the greatest gentleman is Pele. He is a man with a very big heart. I spoke to him, I met him on a plane in Buenos Aires, and he is a man of great humanity.”

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