HomeSportsPope Francis identifies his favorite football player as a "man of humanity."

Pope Francis identifies his favorite football player as a “man of humanity.”

Pope Francis identifies his favorite football player as a “man of humanity.”

Pope Francis has named the late football icon Pele as his favorite 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 favorite, 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 own specialty. At the moment, Messi is very good.”

He added, “Maradona, as a man, failed, poor thing; he slipped, and 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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