Manchester United’s academy dressing room features a photo of Lionel Messi cleaning his own boots – and it sends the perfect message to the club’s stars of tomorrow.
In a long piece for The temperature in 2018, Henry Winter said the image of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi cleaning his boots after taking to the pitch for Argentina against Croatia at Upton Park in 2016 was displayed on the wall.
Why? Well, for those youngsters going through the academy, it’s a timely reminder to stay grounded.
The Manchester United Academy dressing room has a photo of Lionel Messi cleaning his own boots to help young players stay humble! pic.twitter.com/9nIorNJAEB
– Football Tweet:soccer: (@Football__Tweet) March 26, 2022
If arguably the greatest player to ever play the sport wipes the dirt off his boots after a game, then you too should adopt the same mentality.
The same report focuses on Scott McTominay’s emergence as a United first-team player after the midfielder made his 20th appearance of the 2017/18 season in United’s 3-2 win over Manchester City.
Despite being a fairly established member of the squad at the time, the midfielder remained grounded leaving his car in the Carrington Academy car park.
Michael Carrick, who once hailed McTominay as his successor at the United side, has praised the Scotland international for the way he conducts himself, both on and off the pitch.
“He’s going about his business, he’s coming in, he’s always in extra training. He’s desperate to do well and he’s always looking for those little things to improve.
“All the glitz and glamor that can surround young players these days, he doesn’t seem too interested in that, which is fantastic, especially at this stage of his career.
“It’s about having a career, that’s how it is. You can’t live like you’ve had a career before you’ve had the career – you have to earn it.”
Have you thought about that picture of Messi displayed in the United Academy dressing room?
Let us know in the comments.