Argentina strike gold

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Argentina's Olympic squad retained their gold medal in a close encounter with Nigeria.

Beating the African rivals 1-0, Argentina finished off a convincing campaign that saw them fend off fierce rivals Brazil in the quarter-finals. The Brazilians left Beijing with the bronze, and bitterly disappointed with that after what has been a nightmare year for their team.

Di Maria seals gold for Argentina

Argentina, however, seem to have broken their run of losing in the finals of major tournaments and proved that the largely under-23 team can confidently continue the country's class and skill.

As for the elder statesmen, Messi had a good tournament after all the issues of getting Barca to free him. Coach Sergio Batista called him the 'Maradona of the 21st century' and sees him as a future captain of his country.

Riquelme (pictured, below) led well from deep in midfield, but he will now be looking forward to returning to his homeland as Boca's top goalscorer, Palermo, is out for the rest of the season with a bad knee injury.

"What's that Ronnie? You only won bronze?"

But the focus of Argentina has been its successful Olympic run, not only with the men's football, but also a bronze for the Leonas female field hockey and a bronze for the men's basketball team.

Congratulations Argentina. After all the chaos on the streets and in the government, this winter has just got slightly warmer.