A photo of Lionel Messi in action would act as inspiration for most budding professionals.
But Man United believe an image of the legendary No10 cleaning his boots serves a greater purpose for their youngsters.
The below photo hangs in United’s academy’s dressing room…
Pinned to the wall is a photo of Messi cleaning his own boots, acting as a reminder of the importance of humility.
The photo wasn’t taken during his La Masia days.
The snap was taken after the Barcelona legend had just played for Argentina against Croatia at Upton Park in 2014.
The Times are reporting that it takes pride of place at the academy as “the message is as clean and clear as Messi’s boots; greats don’t lose their grounding.”
The 30-year-old Argentine forward is much-heralded for his humble and level-headed nature, despite his unrivalled talent and incredible wealth.
And it could be a sign that Jose Mourinho is attempting to follow in the footsteps of the great Sir Alex Ferguson in ensuring the club’s stars of tomorrow don’t let their egos get the best of them.
Back in 2000, the Old Trafford icon laid down the rule that only black football boots with studs would be allowed for all youth players.
It was a reaction from Sir Alex to footballers seeming determined to ‘stand out’ in other ways than with their skills on the ball.
Perhaps a photo of Scott McTominay cleaning his boots will grace La Masia’s walls in a few years’ times. No? Fine…