Pope Francis has thanked Argentina football star Lionel Messi for sending him a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) club jersey.

“Lionel Messi, dear brother, thank you for the jersey and the dedication,” the pontiff said in a video published on Friday by Argentina’s Telam news agency.

“Thank you for staying grounded. Stay like this. God bless you, you can always count on me.”

French Prime Minister Jean Castex had given the Pope the jersey during a visit to the Vatican.

PSG’s new forward had written: “For Francis, with much love.”

During his time at FC Barcelona, Messi already sent the leader of the Catholic Church several jerseys from the Catalan club.

Pope Francis is considered a big football fan.

The Argentinian’s favourite club is San Lorenzo of Buenos Aires.(dpa/NAN

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