Barca's new Maradona thwarted by red tape

Argentina's hopes may rest with Leo Messi but, Patrick McCurdy writes, he must warm the bench at the Nou Camp

Owen goes solo as Real overwhelm Barcelona

Real Madrid 4 Barcelona 2

Ronaldinho stars as benefit match raises £5.5m for tsunami relief

A collection of soccer talent not seen in at least 30 years braved near freezing temperatures and a polar wind last night, displaying their skills for an all-star exhibition match in hopes of raising US$3 million for victims of December's South Asian tsunamis.

Eto'o: racists would 'kill a black referee'

Samuel Eto'o, the Barcelona striker, believes the problem of racism in Spanish football has escalated to the extent that the authorities could never appoint a black referee as fans "would kill him".

FOOTBALL: BEST IN EUROPE THE INDEPENDENT INDEX

Who is the best player in Europe? And the best team? And the best league? Each week we hope to provide answers. The charts for best players and teams are compiled from the votes of experts throughout Europe.

Eto'o sparkle ignites Catalan dream

As La Liga resumes, Barça's striker explains to Tim Hanlon why he's done so well at the Nou Camp

The man who lived in fear

How one tutor faced his obsessional disorder by writing about it

Football: World Cup: Cameroon v Austria

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam