Messi And Barcelona Return Home As Kings

Barcelona and the peerless Lionel Messi took the European Cup home to Camp Nou - and the rest of Europe must wonder what it will take to overthrow them. Pep Guardiola's squad paraded the trophy through the streets of the Catalan capital on a route which ended at the club's famous stadium. After their majestic 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Wembley,

Barca finished another trophy laden season with the retention of their La Liga Division crown. They boarded an open-top bus which was driven through fan-lined streets before they partied with 94,000 more at the stadium. The players, including goalscorers Pedro, Lionel Messi and David Villa, were introduced one by one before the trophy was brought on to the pitch by Guardiola.

FIFA World Player of the Year winner Messi addressed the crowd, saying: 'I don't have much to say other than to thank you all for your support during this amazing year. And the 23-year-old fired a stark warning to the rest of Europe, saying Barca's thrid Champions League win in six years had done nothing to quench their thirst for trophies. "Hopefully, there will be many more to come. Long live Barca and long live Catalunya."

Messi, who characteristically scored Barca's second with an excellent opportunist strike in the second half, has now won the European Cup three times. But the Argentinian, still just 23, wants so much more. "This team is incredible. I think today we can't really fully appreciate what we're doing, what we are achieving. We want to keep winning trophies - and we can keep going further and further," he said.

Even the modest Argentine had to acknowledge the gulf in class against the English Premier League champions. "We were superior against Manchester and deserved the win. It is another cup for us and I managed to score a goal again. Now we're going on holiday - after taking the cup home to our people - then we will start thinking about what we can achieve next season," said Messi.

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