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23.08.2008 13:12

Fourth Olympic Champion

Jordi Clos

Leo Messi has become the fourth player to have won an Olympic gold medal while wearing the Barça colours. Furthermore, he is the fourth player from the current squad to have won an Olympic medal.

Messi’s success in Beijing has only three precedents in the history of FC Barcelona. Pep Guardiola and Albert Ferrer for Spain in Barcelona 1992 and Javier Saviola for Argentina in Athens 2004 were Barça’s previous Olympic champions. They are the only four players to have won Olympic gold as azulgranas, though Antoni Pinilla also won gold in 92, though that season he was on loan to Mallorca.

Another medallist on the team

puyolsydney00.JPGHowever, Messi’s won’t be an exclusive medal in the current squad. It will be the fourth. Samuel Eto'o won a gold with Cameroon in Sydney in 2000 while he was playing for Mallorca. His team beat Spain in the final. Spain had Xavi and Puyol in the team, so Eto'o and his fellow countrymen consigned his future team mates to the silver medal.


Before Messi, Saviola, Xavi, Puyol, Guardiola and Ferrer, there were five other players who won Olympic medals as Barça players; they are Josep Samitier, Agusti Sancho, Felix Sesumaga and Ricard Zamora, all silver medallists in 1920 and Gabri Garcia, silver medallist in 2000. As well as these, three other players, Aloisio (silver in Seoul 88), Amunike (gold in Atlanta 96) and Ronaldo (bronze in Atlanta 96) also won Olympic medals just before signing for the club.
Photos: www.fifa.com
Photos: www.fifa.com
Jerome and Navarro to follow
Leo Messi’s gold may not be the only one won in Beijing by a sportsman from FC Barcelona. On Sunday, Jerome Fernandez plays in the handball final against Iceland and Juan Carles Navarro plays in the basketball final against the United States.

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