Screen idle: 'In life Messi is quicker than he is on the TV,' says Coloccini

Fabricio Coloccini: 'Messi is so quick, there is nothing you can do really'

Apparently the televised perception of Lionel Messi is not correct; worryingly, the Barcelona forward is quicker in real life.

Lionel Messi’s five goals at the Nou Camp last night - Fourth

Lionel Messi hailed as 'the best' by Pep Guardiola

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hailed the unique talents of Lionel Messi after the Argentina forward's five goals against Bayer Leverkusen last night eased the holders into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Lionel Messi has scored 12 goals in European games this season

Messi hits five while tiny Apoel go through

Lionel Messi at his breathtaking best tore Bayer Leverkusen apart with a record five-goal Champions League haul last night as Barcelona swept into the quarter-finals 7-1 on the night and 10-2 on aggregate.

Adebayor: 0-2

Emmanuel Adebayor calls on Tottenham to bounce back against Manchester United

Emmanuel Adebayor has called on Tottenham to show they are still capable of winning the Barclays Premier League by bouncing back from their hammering at Arsenal with a win over Manchester United this weekend.

Messi hands over his shirt

Bayer Leverkusen players to be ordered to auction off Lionel Messi shirt

Two Bayer Leverkusen players will have to auction off Barcelona shirts they got from Lionel Messi in a 3-1 Champions League defeat on Tuesday after sports director Rudi Voeller said they were too enthusiastic in their quest for a souvenir.

The sporting week ahead (12/02/12)

Today

Louis Saha – Everton
Although denying a recent link to the newly-found riches of PSG, Everton forward Louis Saha may still look for a move away from Goodison Park in the January window. The 33-year-old striker has struggled to score this season, but with competition for Everton’s front line at a minimum, David Moyes may look to keep him until at least the summer unless he strengthens in January.

Busy Redknapp adds Nelsen and Saha to squad

After shipping out Roman Pavlyuchenko to Lokomotiv Moscow for £7.5m and replacing him with a loan deal for Louis Saha from Everton, Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, made a late and successful move to sign the Blackburn Rovers captain, Ryan Nelsen, on a permanent deal until the end of the season. The New Zealand international will move to White Hart Lane, with his situation to be reviewed in the summer.

Ballack has been criticised by the CEO

Bayer Leverkusen CEO critical of Michael Ballack

Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Michael Ballack has failed to deliver in his 20 months at the Bundesliga club after joining in 2010 from Chelsea, club CEO Wolfgang Holzhaeuser said today.

Dimitar Berbatov is too sublime a player to be limited to cameos for United

Chris McGrath: Berbatov: the beautiful and the damned

The Last Word

Madrid look to open up gap before winter freeze

Eurozone

Nightmare draw for English clubs

Italian tests for Arsenal and Chelsea...and it is also tough for Manchester pair
Arsène Wenger: The Arsenal manager called the draw with Milan 'difficult but exciting'

'Draw is difficult...but it's also exciting'

Wenger admits Milan tie is 50-50 while Villas-Boas says it could have been easier

Didier Drogba celebrates giving Chelsea the lead on a night when he was back to his best

Chelsea qualify as group winners after decimation of Valencia

There are some games in which only a vintage performance from Didier Drogba will do for Chelsea, and luckily for Andre Villas-Boas last night, in his hour of direst need, the young manager got one from his old battle-scarred striker.

Raul Meireles (left) congratulates Ramires on his goal, Chelsea's second, at the Bridge last night

Chelsea win group with canny demolition of Valencia

Chelsea 3 Valencia 0

The Chelsea players congratulate two-goal hero Didier Drogba

Chelsea abandon cavalier tactics and advance to knockout phase

Chelsea 3 Valencia 0

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine