LIGA - Barcelona: Messi forced his departure to the 2008 Olympic Games
© photo Imago/Image Sport
Before his Copa América triumph with Argentina last summer, Paris Saint-Germain striker Lionel Messi had not won any major trophy with Albiceleste.
Nevertheless, he won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games with the Olympic selection, alongside Sergio Agüero, Ezequiel Lavezzi or his current club teammate Angel Di Maria. But to get his first title, La Pulga had forced the management of Barça to let him go to China, given that the Catalan club was in full European deadline.
“Messi was committed to making the Olympics. This has created tensions as Barcelona are set to play in the Champions League preliminary round. Pep Guardiola asked him: "Leo, do you want to go to the Games?" and Messi replied yes before seeing the coach tell him "so go to the Games and when you come back I want you on top," Ignasi Oliva, director of Catalan radio Arenys, said in RMC Sport's behind-the-scenes documentary of the career of the six-time Ballon d'Or
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