Talk about Loyalty.

FC  Barcelona have announced that superstar striker Lionel Messi has agreed to a new contract that will keep him at the Catalan club for the next four years.

It was always hard to imagine the club without their talisman. And it would probably have come as a shock if he decided to leave the team he has been with since the young age of 13.

Hopefully, he will help them get back to winning ways. Their only trophy last campaign was the Spanish domestic cup. They were beaten to the La Liga title by old rivals Real Madrid who, under Zinedine Zidane, also managed to outplay Juventus and win the European Champions League cup.

It has been a busy few weeks for Messi. He married his longtime sweetheart and mother of his child just last week with a ceremony back at his home town of Rosario, Argentina.

Barca had their work cut out for them in the round of 16. They had to turn around a 4-0 deficit from the first leg in Paris if they were to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. And for each goal PSG might score at Camp Nou, the Catalans had to score 2 so as to avoid defeat by the away goals rule.

You knew they could do it. And they did it.

It was astonishing to watch as Messi and co produced a stunning comeback in the first leg to make history and progress to the next round for the 10th consecutive season at this stage of the competition.Anything can happen in this beautiful game. And FC Barcelona proved once again why they are one of the most formidable teams ever to grace the world of sports.

No wonder futbol aka football aka soccer is the most popular game in the world.

Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently had some tea and biscuits at 10 Downing St. Assuming that's standard offering at the Prime Minister's residence in London.

The previous day, Cook was in Scotland receiving an honorary degree from University of Glasgow.

Millions dream of coming to America and making it. It is, after all, the secret sauce of what makes this nation great: The fact that the strengths of these United States lie in their allure as a melting pot of cultures and skills and points of view.

One can't help but wonder how much damage will have been done to the credibility and desirableness and influence of this great nation of immigrants by the time this disastrous new era comes to an end. If the last 11 days are anything to go by, we are in for a rough ride.

It's not just that management are reckless and clueless, but too many are sitting idly by and letting them get away with it.

At least sensible minds are expressing their displeasure with mass protests and legal challenges. And there lies the hope for the future. But in the meantime, the outlook is dim.

God help America.

The New York Times reports that George Orwell’s classic book “1984,” about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, has seen a surge in sales this month.

The title has risen to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the U.S. The book's publishers have as a result printed tens of thousands of new copies to meet market demand.

Liverpool's dismal form in the new year continues. Southampton were the better side for much of the game and deserved to get through to the finals of the League Cup. And they did so without conceding a single goal so far in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp has much work to do. Next up are leaders Chelsea in the Premier League.

Coutinho may have extended his contract with the club until 2022. But with their current form, Liverpool may yet end empty handed this season.

Liverpool had not lost at their home Anfield for quite some time. But today's result, while surprising in the context of the Premier League table, should not be quite shocking.

Because the defensive frailties continue to haunt this potentially great side. Can we score goals? Yes. Well, most of the time. Can we keep a clean sheet? Yes. But only sometimes.

This defeat leaves the Merseysiders 7 points behind leaders Chelsea who will play Hull City on Sunday. And the gap could grow to 10 points with a win for Antonio Conte's side.

Second placed Tottenham Hotspur did not take much advantage as they needed a late, controversial equalizer to get a point at Manchester City. City took the lead in a performance that pleased manager Pep Guardiola. But the match ended 2-2.

Arsenal could move 2nd if they win their game at home. The visitors will be 12th-place Burnley. That match is also on Sunday.

Liverpool's next Premier League will be against clear leaders Chelsea. That game scheduled for Tuesday, January 31st of 2017 will surely decide whether the reds can realistically remain in the title race.

Liverpool have announced that Steven Gerrard, aka Stevie G, aka Captain Fantastic is going to rejoin the club as youth team coach starting Februrary.

Gerrard made his Liverpool debut in 1998 and went on to captain the club until he left after the 2014-2015 season. That was to join LA Galaxy in America's MLS.

In a career spanning 17 years with more than 700 games for the reds, the 36 year old won 9 trophies. He remains much loved and respected by club and country.

Gerrard said:

It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began. However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.

This is welcome news for Liverpool club and its fans.

Barack H. Obama's last official day as the 44th President of the United States of America feels sad. It leaves one thinking how long it will be before this great nation swears in another great leader into the White House. Or someone even close to it.

We will miss his grace, dignity, and leadership. And of course, First Lady Michelle Obama. And their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, who grew up before our very eyes.

So long. Farewell.

May their health, growth and contributions continue for years to come.

Jim Nelson writing on GQ makes his point on why Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents of all time.

But what now feels distinctly possible is that, just as Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed, over time he may be judged less for the color of his skin than for the content of his character.

He argues:

Barack Obama will long be revered because he’s charismatic, presided over an economic revival, and changed and elevated the view of the presidency. He’s simply bigger than Bill.

+ Read the whole thing at gq.com