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Lionel Messi: “I don’t like being called ‘god’”

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The Argentine star says he understands it’s meant with respect, but that he finds it “exaggerated”

FBL-WC-2014-MATCH55-ARG-SUI-FANS Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has rejected the holy nickname given to him by fans in a new interview. Messi is sometimes referred to as “god” or “D10S,” a play on “dios,” which means “god” in Spanish, and his number, 10.

He was asked by RAC1 if he liked that or if it worried him.

“I’m not worried by it, but it’s true that I don’t like it,” he said.

“It’s nice to be praised because people are being respectful. They don’t say it with any ill intent, but actually, with the complete opposite. But I think it’s very exaggerated to call me that,” the Barcelona legend said.

He said part of the reason he didn’t like it was because his young sons followed how others treat him.

“Because of my sons, the age they have, they hear things and they copy them,” he revealed.

“My son, Mateo, calls me ‘Leo Messi,” [he’ll say,] ‘let’s go Leo Messi!’”