Fans react to Pope Francis being presented with a signed Lisandro Martinez Man Utd shirt
Fans have reacted after Pope Francis was handed a signed Lisandro Martinez shirt during an audience with an interfaith group from the city at The Vatican.
During his visit to Rome on Thursday morning, the Major of Manchester, Andy Burnham, presented the head of the Catholic Church with a Manchester United jersey featuring a personal message from Martinez.
Pope Francis, who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a keen football fan.
And according to United's official website, the 88-year-old is a huge admirer of centre-back Martinez, who recently lifted the World Cup with La Albiceleste.
When the club and player were informed of Mayor Burnham's visit, it organised a shirt signed by the former Ajax defender.
It is said the shirt carried a personal message from Martinez that read: ‘Su Santidad, Con mucho cariño, LM.’, which translates to: 'Your holiness, with much love, Licha'.
Chris Trott, the UK Ambassador to the Holy See, posted a series of pictures from the day, including Burnham handing over the Martinez jersey.
"Very pleased to join this amazing interfaith group in their audience with @Pontifex this morning," Trott tweeted. "Congratulations on your work, which the Pope wholeheartedly endorsed."
He added: "I think @Pontifex particularly appreciated this gift, presented by @AndyBurnhamGM and the Lord Mayor."
Very pleased to join this amazing interfaith group in their audience with @Pontifex this morning. Congratulations on your work, which the Pope wholeheartedly endorsed. #Ourfaithourplanet https://t.co/Fa7EE9cjFq pic.twitter.com/FEhcDRvJSD— Chris Trott (@ChrisTrott) April 20, 2023
Here's how fans reacted to the scene.
One said: "The crossover we didn't know we needed," while another wrote: "When I saw this first time I thought it was fake."
A third commented: "It’s a sign Lisandro Martinez’s first season has gone quite well when Pope Francis is getting his framed shirt..."
A fourth added: "File this one under the most random thing you’ll see today. Pope Francis receiving a Lisandro Martínez shirt."
Martinez, meanwhile, has been ruled out until the end of the season after fracturing a metatarsal bone in his foot during Manchester United's Europa League clash against Sevilla.
The 25-year-old, who has made 55 appearances in all competitions for club and country this season, recently confirmed that "everything went well" during his surgery.
He added: "Now focusing on the recovery."
Todo salió muy bien, gracias a Dios! Muchas gracias por todos los mensajes, ahora ya pensando en la recuperación. Vamossss 💪🏼— Lisandro Martinez (@LisandrMartinez) April 17, 2023
Everything went really well, thanks to God! Many thanks for all of your messages. Now focusing on the recovery. 💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/SHvQbPaOmo