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.”

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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)