Messi takes vacation after ‘spectacular’ year

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Lionel Messi has arrived in Argentina for his winter-break vacation following what he called another “spectacular” year at Barcelona.

Fresh from scoring twice in his club’s 4-0 win over Santos in the Club World Cup final Sunday, Messi says he is “happy” to be back home to spend Christmas with his family in Rosario.

Messi says he has enjoyed “a very good year achieving important things” — including another Spanish league title and Champions League crown with Barcelona.

The diminutive striker is also favorite to be named FIFA’s world footballer of the year for 2011.

The only success that eludes Messi is a trophy with Argentina. To make that happen, Messi says he “will keep working with lots of enthusiasm and belief.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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