Argentine-born football superstar Lionel Messi performs for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, and he’s often considered the best player in the world. Messi has been awarded FIFA’s Player of the Year and the European Golden Shoe for top scorer on the continent a record six times.
Forbes has also ranked Messi as one of the highest-paid soccer players, with $126 million in total income for 2020. His current 2020-21 Barcelona contract brings him over $80 million annually.
Despite his health issues in youth (he suffered growth hormone deficiency, which threatened his sports career) and serious injuries, he managed to become one of the greatest players of all time, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
He still looks like he could keep up with his great rival Ronaldo well into their late 30s.
Let’s find out the secrets of Messi’s perfect shape and maybe try to include some of them into our everyday routine.
As an active pro soccer player, Messi practices conscious eating. Yet it wasn’t always like this.
In his younger years, Messi ate what most of us do: fast food, fizzy drinks, pizza. As he aged, he figured out this diet wasn’t working for his body and gave up all the junk food.
What You Can Put In Your Body At 18 Or 19 Years Of Age Is Not The Same As What You Can Put In At 27.
The athlete started working with nutritionist Giuliano Poser. Now, his diet plan mainly consists of five major categories:
Messi also avoids certain foods, like:
- refined flour
- refined sugar
- sugary drinks
- processed carbs
- fried foods
- junk food
- artificial additives
Poser believes that one of the most crucial principles of a healthy diet is eating as little sugar as possible.
Sugar Is The Worst Thing For The Muscles. The Farther He [Lionel Messi] Stays Away From Sugars, The Better.
— GIULIANO POSER
As part of his healthy diet, Lionel Messi also gave up eating excessive quantities of meat. In Poser’s words:
The Amount Of Meat Normally Eaten By Argentinians And Uruguayans Is Too Much, As It Is Difficult To Digest.
— GIULIANO POSER
- Protein shakes – to compensate for the lack of protein. Messi drinks up to three protein shakes a day (along with lots of water).
- Yerba Mate – a popular Argentinian herb beverage and Messi’s fav drink. It’s an excellent alternative to coffee that boosts alertness and digestion and helps you lose weight.
To sum up, Messi’s diet is quite simple: eat healthy, include the right carbs, reduce meat and sugar intake, and supplement with protein. No magic, right?
Messi’s Favorite Dish
Barcelona revealed Messi’s favorite recipe. Check it out on their Twitter:
It’s roasted chicken with root vegetables, which you can make in your own kitchen and eat like the soccer star!
- 30g olive oil
- 4 smashed garlic gloves
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch of carrots
- 1 leek
- 700-800g potatoes
- 4 chicken thighs
- Fresh thyme
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- Add oil and salt to a roasting tray
- Add chopped vegetables and chicken
- When prepared, roast for 45 mins at 190 degrees
The champ’s healthy meal is ready!
When training, Messi focuses on three key factors: speed, strength, and stretching.
Stretching is an important part of the soccer star’s training routine, as it helps improve agility and dynamism around the field.
Lionel Messi’s training routine consists of two types of workout sessions: Linear Speed Workout and Multi-Directional Speed Workout. He trains five days a week and ensures his body gets enough rest as well.
Linear Speed Workout
- Pillar bridge (front): 30 sec x 2 sets
- Knee hug lunge: 4 reps/side
- Inverted hamstring stretch: 4 reps/side
- Pillar skip (linear): 15 yds
- 2-foot rapid response: 5 sec x 2 sets
- Hurdle hop: 5 hurdles x 2-3 sets
- Split squat jump: 4/side x 2-3 sets
- Acceleration wall drill (marching): 5 reps/side x 2 sets
- Acceleration wall drill (single exchange): 5 reps/side x 2 sets
- Acceleration wall drill (triple exchange): 5 reps/side x 2 sets
- Acceleration (split stance): 10 yds x 3-5 sets
- Acceleration to base: 10 yds x 3-5 sets
Multi-Directional Speed Workout
Warm-up (same as above)
- Hurdle hop (lateral) 5 hurdles/side x 2-3 sets
- Lateral bound: 4/side x 2-3 sets
- Lateral shuffle to cut: 4 reps/side x 2-3 sets
- 3-hurdle drill (stabilization): 3 reps x 2-3 sets
- 3-hurdle drill (continuous): 3 reps x 2-3 sets
- 3-hurdle drill (to drop step): 3 reps x 2-3 sets
- Mirror drill: 5-10 sec x 3-4 sets
Now you know the secrets of Lionel Messi’s super-fit shape. We hope you’ve got your portion of good motivation and tips to include in your routine!