Messi has proved his teammates correct while Rio Ferdinand called one incident “disrespectful” in the BT studio.
The Argentine hit the headlines on Tuesday night after scoring his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain after moving to the club from Barcelona in the summer.
Suggestions he’d made a relatively slow start in front of goal were banished against Manchester City with a sublime strike at a critical time.
PSG were 1-0 up against Pep Guardiola’s men through former Everton star Idrissa Gueye before Messi doubled the lead against his former mentor.
After playing a cute one-two with Kylian Mbappe, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner swept one past Ederson with his left foot that the Brazilian could only gawp at.
But one moment has got people talking when City had a free-kick on the outskirts of the box and as PSG lined up a wall – it was Messi who took up the role as ‘plank’ – laying on the floor to prevent an unlikely pea-roller from squirming underneath.
Ferdinand was having none of it, jovially insisting that it was disrespectful to ask a man of Messi’s prowess to perform such a task.
He said: “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.’
But it only serves to back up earlier comments made by his teammates that Messi keeps himself grounded and humble.
At international level, Lucas Ocampos opened up on his Argentine pal when he said this week: “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.”
PSG teammate Achraf Hakimi, who also moved to the club this summer, also expressed his surprise over his Messi conducts himself.
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.”