Barcelona's Lionel Messi was named as Argentina's
sports personality of the year on Wednesday, winning the Olimpia
de Oro (gold) for the first time.
The prize, his first in his home country, is awarded by
Argentina's sports writers and follows a year in which his goals
helped Barca win Spain's La Liga, the European Champions League
and the Club World Cup.
"I'm happy and proud of the award. Thanks to God, I've
received prizes all over the world but I'd never before had one
in Argentina," his country's captain told reporters.
Messi is also in line to win a third consecutive Ballon
d'Or, the prize for the world's best footballer.
He returned to Argentina to spend the Christmas and New Year
holidays with family and friends in his home town of Rosario.
The Olimpia de Oro was won by Luciana Aymar, captain of
Argentina's world champion women's hockey team, in 2010 and
former U.S. Open tennis champion Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.
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