Rants and musings from the magazine team
It seems like only last week we were singing the praises of the February issue of FourFourTwo, but already the next magazine has hit the shelves – and the March edition is another cracker.
But for those of you who want more than 156 glossy pages of access, insight and fun, here is our monthly 'Further Reading' blog. Once you put down that magazine, see what else we have to offer in relation to the March issue...
ENTER MADRID, EXIT BARÇAThe March issue brings the story of Mourinho's Madrid being poised to topple Pep and pals, but at FourFourTwo.com we have insight from Spain several times a week. Head on over to our La Liga Loca blog section for regular missives from Tim Stannard on the world's biggest league. Predictions? Reactions? Banners encouraging testicular fortitude? It's all here.
RONALDO v MESSIComparing the globe's two best players is a tricky job: Barney Ronay's piece in the magazine was as comprehensive as it was analytical, but sometimes you just need to see the evidence for yourself. Maybe these videos will make you change your mind as to who is better of "the likeable floppy-haired Ewok" and "the balletic machine". Or maybe they'll just reinforce what you already think. Take a look and find out.
RAMIRES & SZCZESNY EXCLUSIVESWe got personal one-on-one time with the big hopes of the two remaining English clubs in the Champions League: Ramires of Chelsea and Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal. Unfortunately we have no video of the Polish stopper's dad decking Roberto Mancini, but you can see why he and 'The Blue Kenyan' (or 'Rambo', depending where you're based) are so crucial to the pair of Londoners' hopes in these videos:
EUROPEAN BATTLE PLANSWe've got the tactical lowdown on how English teams can ensure they fare well in the Champions League and Europa League knockouts, but where are you going to get analysis on their opposition? In our extensive Blogs section, that's where! We have local experts spread right across Europe – and beyond – so if you want nous on Napoli or musings on Milan, views on Valencia or dirt on the Dutch champions, see what the men in the know have to say.
Elsewhere, Professor Champions League himself will be watching every game, quill in hand, ready to scribble off another fascinating blog on the world's premier club competition.
And that's not all: the FourFourTwo Stats Zone app is now just 69p for the Champions League, so if you want to be an armchair analyst, you know what to do (erm, buy the app).
EURO 2012 ENGLAND SQUAD PREDICTORWe're going to take a punt here and guess that you disagreed with our predicted 23-man England squad in the magazine. Hey, it's fine: after all, there are so many contenders. Read who they are, as well as the updated list, in our latest Euro 2012 England Squad Predictor blog – and tell us what you think in the comments section, on Facebook or on Twitter.
CLUB FOCUS: PARIS SAINT-GERMAINWe take a look in the March issue at wannabe superclub Paris Saint-Germain, in the first of our new series going inside the world's most fascinating teams. Back in December on FourFourTwo.com, editor of The Football Diaries Stuart Coleman explained why PSG's revival is good for the whole of French football. Vive la révolution!
ONE-ON-ONE: DENIS LAWIn this issue's One-on-One, where footballing legends answer your questions, Denis Law 'struggles to remember' his worst defeat with Scotland, losing 9-3 to the old enemy. Here's a video that might jog his memory...
Of course, it's a myth that Law's backheel relegated his beloved Manchester United in 1973, but it was still a massive moment in his life. Here it is, for any young whippersnappers reading:
Here are some much happier moments for the Lawman, becoming a hero in Manchester apparently to music by a bunch of Liverpudlians. Well, you can't have everything.
GREAT GOALS RETOLD: JURGEN KLINSMANNAs you might expect, it's another cracker in our Great Goals Retold series: legendary striker Jurgen Klinsmann showing why he was all the rage with a scintillating strike for Stuttgart against Bayern Munich in 1987. Check out the video to go with his words, for as sublime a move ending with an overhead kick as you're ever likely to see.
MESSI'S COUSINIt's never easy living in somebody's shadow, so feel for Maxi Biancucchi, footballer for Olimpia in Paraguay – and Lionel Messi's cousin. But for one moment Maxi was king of the world, and here's why. Leo would be proud.
NON-LEAGUE TO PREMIER LEAGUEWe also talk to four top-flight players who have lived the modern-day football fairy tale: coming up from the non-leagues to play in the Premier League. So non-league, in fact, that the internet has no videos of their lesser-known exploits. Enjoy instead these tasters of Chris Smalling, Steve Morison, Carl Jenkinson and Michael Kightly playing for their Premier League clubs – Kightly in a pre-season friendly between the selling club and his buyers, Gray's Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers...
FFT TRAVEL: NAPLESLike the look of our footballing guide to Naples in the new issue? Get more from our FourFourTwo travel site, including more reasons why Naples is "Italy turned up to 11". Then fly! Go on, what's stopping you?
PERFECT XI: ROBERT PIRESIf you enjoyed Bobby P's line-up of the best players he ever shared a pitch with, you'll probably like our archive of Perfect XIs online. For all you Gooners, here's Ian Wright waxing lyrical about Paolo Maldini's good looks; for all you Frenchmen, here's Eric Cantona on Rene Higuita being "a great keeper"; and for all you Arsenal-loving Frenchies, we also have Emmanuel Petit on his brave decision to appoint joint-managers.
We're constantly updating our archive too, so keep your homepage locked on our Interviews section for more access from FourFourTwo's 17 and a bit years.
ACTION REPLAY: HEREFORD v NEWCASTLE, 1972It wouldn't be the March 2012 edition of FourFourTwo without recognition of the all-time most famous upset's 40-year anniversary. To go with your nostalgia and magazine feature, have some highlights of the Bulls' incredible victory, including a fan in a tree:
FFT'S NEW POSTER BOYWe're big fans of Steve Welsh, creator of football art website miniboro.com, around here: his posters are all over our office. Hopefully, if the Upfront article didn't already, this should explain why.
REFFIN' HELL!In Planet Football this month you can read about some of the most extraordinary things ever happen to a match official. Now you can see them too! Here is evidence we didn't just make up a bunch of incredible tales; these videos make you wonder who would ever want to be a ref...
Ref does runner from drunk Dane
Wheely annoyed Dutchman lets rip
When players get a bit too friendly
Solution: get on the booze yourself
ONE CARDBOARD CAT & 2,000 PHANTOM FANSIntrigued by our story from Germany, about Hansa Rostock fans reacting to a stadium ban against Dynamo Dresden by smuggling in cardboard cut-outs? Then have your curiosity piqued by these extra snaps. Not only did the nearly empty arena feature a two-dimensional cat, but these fake fans as well. Bizarre...
PERFORMANCELet's not forget we have a really rather wonderful Performance website as well as the monthly magazine section. For more on what you've learnt from the March issue, check out the following.
Want more tips on being a striker after Michael Owen's tips on positioning? Read Jermain Defoe's six-step guide to striking and Darren Bent's tips on being a maestro of movement.
Want more on structuring a training session? We have a whole Performance section dedicated to training, so get your guidance from us.
Want more on how to defend like an icon after Franco Baresi's masterclass? Try these tasty tips from modern pros and Manchester United team-mates Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Want more on recovery on top of the benefits of chocolate milk for post-match recovery? We have plenty of recovery guides in our section dedicated to just that.
Want more on how music can help your all-round football game having read Judge Jules' soundtrack to your season? Put on your giant headphones and immerse yourself in music to improve your performance.
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