Lionel Messi might be a bonafide superstar, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to roll up his sleeves and do the dirty work for Paris Saint-Germain as he buys into the ‘team-first’ mentality
Lionel Messi was willing to put his body on the line for Paris Saint-Germain to see out the victory against Manchester City.
That moment of magic was the big talking point at full-time, but another incident involving the Argentina captain caught the attention of the footballing world.
PSG were defending their two-goal lead towards the end of the match as City piled forward in a last-gasp attempt to get back into the game.
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And Messi showed he has already bought into the ‘team-first’ mentality as he laid down on the ground for Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick to avoid the City star going under the wall.
The forward might be a bonafide superstar, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to roll up his sleeves and do the dirty work for his team.
Ferdinand appreciated his efforts, but light-heartedly said that it was disrespectful to ask a man of Messi’s status to perform that role.
He said on BT Sport: “The moment Pochettino asked him to do that on the training ground, someone should have said: ‘No, no, no, no, no. This doesn’t happen to Leo Messi.’
“It is disrespectful, I wouldn’t have it.”
But Messi’s gesture is another example of his grounded nature and backs up what a couple of his teammates said about him earlier in the week.
Achraf Hakimi insists he was “surprised” how down to earth he was as he opened about their relationship since he arrived in Paris.
He said: “For Messi to leave Barca, like everyone else, I didn’t expect it. And when I heard you were coming here, what can I say? A dream for me!
“I played with many great players and the only one I missed was Messi! I am proud to evolve with such a good footballer.
“To progress, I will pay attention to how he trains, how he plays. It will grow the team and each of the players that make it up.
“We speak the same language, in addition, little by little we are getting to know each other.
“Building a technical relationship with him is easy! I give him the ball, I run and he will put it where it belongs! I was surprised by the way he behaved, he is simple, quiet.”
International compatriot Lucas Ocampos echoed those sentiments, saying: “Leo is a normal guy.
“He is just like you see in front of the TV cameras and on the pitch. He is someone who makes you feel like he is just one of the guys.
“Despite being the best of all time, he is a calm, humble and simple person.”