Lionel Messi stunned locals in his native Argentina after training in a public gym as he looks to keep fit over the festive season.
Currently on a break with Barcelona’s next game not until Jan. 4 against Espanyol, Messi was spotted working out back home on New Year’s Eve.
Rather than using his own private gym, the 32-year-old opted to train alongside his fellow countrymen and quickly caused quite a stir.
“He entered as one more, I could not believe it,” gym worker Valentina Jure told Rosario Nuestro. “He used the machines like anyone else, he was smiling with everyone.
“I can’t believe it, my phone literally exploded. Journalists and people from all over the world wrote to me.”
Funnily enough, while Messi kept fit on one of the treadmills his own Barcelona highlights just happened to be playing right in front of him.
Though no doubt spurring the six-time Ballon d’Or winner on as he trained, Valentina stressed Messi didn’t purposely seek out his own highlight reel.
“I want to say that the channel with his goals was already set when he arrived,” she said.
“I like to clarify it because people have written to me saying that it is self-centered but it was nothing like that — he was super humble with everyone while we were there.”
After being held back by injuries at the start of the season, Messi quickly made up for lost time and went into the Christmas break with 13 La Liga goals from just 13 appearances.
Those goals have helped Barcelona to the summit of Spain’s top flight with rivals Real Madrid trailing Ernesto Valverde’s side by two points after 18 league matches.
While Messi is clearly doing his bit to stay fit over the holidays, Carlos Tevez has previously questioned the Argentine’s workout regime, particularly when compared to Cristiano Ronaldo’s.
“Lionel Messi, I never saw him in the gym. I’ve never seen him train to stop the ball or those exercises,” Tevez said in 2018. “It is all natural to him, but on penalties he trained — first he did not take them and now he shoots them all at the corner.
“Cristiano always stopped in the gym after training, for him it is an obsession and, being the best in everything, he always arrived at work early.”