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How the Olympic Games changed Barcelona forever

Will the London Olympics have a great lasting legacy? It's not entirely clear at present, and there's plenty of reasons to believe it might not. The Olympic Curse has struck many cities, most recently with 2008's host Beijing, where the incredible new stadiums built are gathering dust. But some cities have had a positive outcome.

Lionel Messi breaks Champions' League record

Messi scores 5 goals against Bayer Leverkusen in quarter-finals of Champion's League
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Lionel Messi chips in the first of his five goals last night. (LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

UPDATE: UEFA has taken down the YouTube video linked to in this post. I call that an own goal.

We celebrate genius and special talent across Europe in this blog whether artistic (as in my take last week on the David Hockney exhibition at London's Royal Academy) or sporting.

And there is no genius in world football like Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the moment.

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Barcelona beat Real Madrid again and other soccer news

Barcelona victory in Madrid proves they remain the greatest.
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MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 18: Fernando Carvalho (L) of Real Madrid tackles Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the Copa del Rey Quarter Finals match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 18, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) (Denis Doyle/AFP/Getty Images)

Bliss it is to be alive when Barcelona are redefining the possibilities of their sport. Last night they played Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, the knock-out competition, similar to England's FA Cup, that runs at the same time as the league championship. The scoreline was 2-1

It wasn't as if Real Madrid played badly. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal. But thereafter it was all Barca, Barca, Barca.

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