Extra Time: Messi masters cricket in nutritional ad campaign

The Barcelona sensation takes his sporting expertise to new levels in a series of video commercials for Herbalife, where he takes on the likes of basketball icon Kobe Bryant
With four Ballons d'Or to his name and hailed by many as the greatest player of all-time, it often seems as though there is nothing Lionel Messi cannot do on a football pitch.

Well, the Argentina sensation has now taken his talents to a whole new level after appearing in a series of advertisements where he tries his hand - and feet - at cricket, basketball and table tennis.

In the latest of Herbalife's commercials featuring the 25-year-old, Messi takes to a floodlit cricket pitch where he ultimately manages to bowl out his opposite number with a well-aimed left-footed strike of the ball, as awe-struck children watch on from behind the netting.

Messi, who signed a deal with the nutritional giants in 2010, has already appeared in adverts alongside basketball star Kobe Bryant and another where he triumphs at table tennis. In both, although his skill with his hands is commendable, it is his famous left foot which ultimately settles the contest.

“I’m very happy to be associated with such a large, established nutrition company as Herbalife that’s known around the world," Messi was quoted as saying after he and Barcelona agreed the sponsorship deal three years ago.

"Together, we can help spread the word about how healthy nutrition can help athletes achieve the most out of their training, while at the same time work together on projects to help children at risk."

Messi is not the only iconic Argentine footballer to have expressed an interest in cricket in recent years. In a video interview with Sport 360, Diego Maradona animatedly confessed his admiration for the sport and the passion of the supporters - although he admitted he did not quite understand all the rules.