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Messi Thanks Guardiola After Olympic Success

The young forward was originally prevented from heading to China by FCB, who only released Messi when ordered to do so by FIFA.

In fact Barça had previously insisted that Messi stick around in order to face Wisla Krakow in the Champions League, although they eventually strolled to victory without him, even though they could have brought him back home thanks to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In any case Messi was integral to the albiceleste's victory in Beijing, and he found it in himself to thank his club.

"I'm very happy," he said. "Now I need to celebrate with my colleagues (of Argentina) because in a few hours I need to think of my club once more," he said.

"I'm very grateful to (Barcelona coach) Pep Guardiola," added Messi, referring to Guardiola's tacit allowing of him to play despite the Court decision.

"I want to reach to him and give him a hug because he understood where I was coming from and it was such a nice gesture.

"He conducted himself brilliantly. He was once a player and he knows how it is. Now I can talk about being an Olympic champion to an Olympic champion."

Anger

Messi had a few words for those media sources in Spain and beyond that claimed that he only reluctantly came to China in the first place.

"I want to express once more that I'm a bit angry at what's been said about me," he revealed.

"To say that I didn't want to join the Argentine selection was a big lie. It's not what I said, and nor is it what I'd ever say because I always love to represent my country.

"To play in these Olympics was unique, and to win in the final made it even more unforgettable."

Steve Michaels, Goal.com