Pope Francis has requested an audience with Joe Allen after a spate of reported sightings of Jesus Christ appearing in Stoke City’s midfield.
A messianically bearded figure being spotted in Mark Hughes’s starting line-up had alerted the Vatican to a potential miracle in the Potteries region.
Having witnessed Stoke’s 3-1 win over Swansea from the confines of a nearby pub, Pope Francis declared the figure “not to be Christ in His corporeal form, but just some Welsh guy”.
Nevertheless, His Holiness maintained that what he had witnessed was “still a kind of miracle” and he would now like to meet Joe Allen for a personal appraisal.
Speaking exclusively to Football Burp, Pope Francis was effusive in his praise for the revitalised Stoke star.
He said: “I gather he’s now scored as many goals in a handful of games for Stoke as he had done in the previous few seasons at Liverpool.
“Factor in his inclusion in UEFA’s Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament and it’s clear that this is a phenomenon I really ought to investigate.
“I don’t believe he’s the living embodiment of Christ – for starters, he’s Welsh, which Christ wasn’t – but we must be receptive to miracles in all their forms.
“More than anything I’d like to ask him of his methods, because if he can keep this going he could save me a packet on my fantasy football team.
“Let’s face it, Étienne Capoue was just trolling us.”