Caeleb Dressel says he literally talked to Michael Phelpsmore than his own wife during the Olympics ... telling TMZ Sports the swimming G.O.A.T. helped the 24-year-old win 5 gold medals.
Wetalked to Dressel in NYC shortly after he returned to the U.S. ... and asked the new face of swimming whether the old face of swimming reached out to congratulate him after his kickass week in Tokyo.
"I actually texted [Michael Phelps] more than [my wife] Meghan during the games. It was nice being able to lean on him. He helped me a lot throughout. I texted him after a couple of events, he was more than welcome to help me figure out some stuff, but he was great."
Pretty cool of Phelps -- a 23x gold medalist -- to help one of the Games' biggest stars AND best performers.
Dressel won 5 medals -- all gold -- in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay.
KING CAELEB 👑
Caeleb Dressel BREAKS the Olympic record to win GOLD in the men's 50m free! #TokyoOlympics