World of Sport

Supreme Pontiff delighted to receive signed Messi shirt

World of Sport

Nobody takes the job as Pope because of the side benefits that come with the gig - at least, you'd hope not - but let's face it: there are some cracking bonuses that go with landing the job as the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church.

You get to live rent-free in a fairly magnificent palace in the middle of one of the world's great cities. You have your own country in said building, complete with it's own postal service. You get the world's best-dressed soldiers as your official bodyguards. You get not just one, but a series of utterly magnificent job titles: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City and Servant of the servants of God.

You also get a hotline to God - and up until now, that used to be about the coolest thing that came with the role.

But that's now been superseded, as Pope Francis I got his hands on an even better benefit: a Barcelona shirt personally signed by his fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, and hand-delivered to him by one of Spain's top cardinals.

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