It seems as though Lionel Messi doesn't get enough credit for his hard work.
Nobody is pretending that the Barcelona star is just riding off the back of his talent, but his incredible work ethic never seems to be mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Just because Messi isn't as physically strong and can't jump as high as his rival, it doesn't mean that he just vegetates in his garden playing keepie-uppies. Not all the time, anyway.
That's especially the case when Messi prepares for a new campaign and an effective pre-season is always vital towards maintaining his astronomical standards.
Further to that, Messi is having to pay extra attention to every training session he does this summer, especially after picking up a calf injury before the tour of the United States.
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Calf injury for Messi
Plus, Messi hasn't exactly had much time to put his feet up after jumping straight from the Copa del Rey final to a gruelling Copa America campaign with Argentina.
It's for those very reasons that Ernesto Valverde isn't risking his star man for the opening game of the season against Athletic Bilbao.
Instead, Messi is finalising his preparations to make sure he's in the best possible shape for upcoming fixtures with Real Betis, Osasuna and Valencia.
On the road to recovery
In the mean time, a video emerged on Thursday of Messi rehabbing his calf and that involved an interesting training session on the sand.
It's rare that we get such a fascinating insight into Messi's training and it showed him gritting his teeth to complete each and every activity with everything he had.
From thrashing teed up footballs into the roof of the net to dispatching volleys like it's nobody's business, take a look at the full footage down below:
All we know is, the 2019-20 season isn't ready.
Despite now being comfortably in his thirties, Messi is still churning out impressive seasons and was nominated for the annual UEFA award alongside Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk.
Further to that, his incomparable goal contributions last season makes him a strong contender for the Ballon d'Or, in spite of going four years without a Champions League crown.
Of course, Barcelona fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that his calf recovers in the short term and Valverde is being far more frugal about using Messi in La Liga clashes.
Therefore, while there's a sense that Messi needs covering in more bubblewrap than ever, it's only to ensure he remains one of the world's best whenever he steps on to the pitch.
And it would be fair to say that the video evidences suggests that Messi is looking hungrier than ever.
How many goals do you think Messi will score this season? Have your say in the comments section below.News Now - Sport News