Manchester United has a message for it’s young, pampered footballers – if it’s good enough for Lionel Messi, it’s good enough for you.
The club uses an image of the Barcelona superstar cleaning his kit to keep their academy players from getting too big for their boots.
The picture, pinned to the wall of the academy dressing room, shows Messi, aged 26, doing his own dirty work after featuring for Argentina at Upton Park in 2014.
Old pros often moan that upstart pro players don’t learn the discipline of coming up through the system, cleaning the terraces and polishing first team players’ boots.
But the Red Devils – who have a history of bringing through top youth players from the days of the Busby Babes to the glory years of the Sir Alex Ferguson era, when the likes of Paul Scholes and David Beckham led them to many trophies – are clearly sending a message to their academy stars.
Work hard, train hard and don’t get ahead of yourself.
It’s a message that a number of young players seem to have heeded. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay have all worked their way into the first team in recent years.