Rants and musings from the magazine team
The calendar turns and it's new-issue time. This month, we take you inside the Camp Nou, interview yet another host of legends and headline acts, find out what's making Cardiff crazy, annoy FIFA-heads by clicking X in front of goal, and reveal Joe Royle's bathroom preferences...
It's not easy following a legend. That's the job Tito Vilanova has accepted, replacing all-conquering Pep Guardiola as Barcelona boss – just as the Camp Nou kingdom shows signs of crumbling, what with the title back ion the hands of the hated Real Madrid. Renowned Barça-based expert Graham Hunter takes you inside the camp to speak to Vilanova and others about what Barcelona do next.
To mark the start of the Champions League group stage, we celebrate 20 years of ol' Big Ears with fresh insight from participants including Yaya Toure, Nemanja Vidic, Olivier Giroud, Roberto di Matteo, Angel di Maria and Borussia Dortmund skipper Sebastian Kehl.
Elsewhere, we look at the rise of gaming among players – interviewing the big names for whom an evening isn't complete without Football Manager or FIFA. More seriously, we look at Mafia involvement in Italian football, and go to Cardiff to find a furore over the change to red kits.
And that's it. No, only joking. There's a One-on-One with France and Chelsea legend Frank Lebeouf, and we track down the Ashton Gate Eight: the Bristol City players who, 30 years ago, walked away from their livelihoods to save the club they loved.
Add in a look at luck (do you really make your own, Brian?), Darren Anderton on the games that changed his life, Louis Saha's hard-earned advice, the Dutch football Banksy, Rafa Benitez's Perfect XI, Diego Forlan on the country he's fallen in love with, the Rangers diehard following Celtic for a season and Joe Royle telling us about his favourite taps – and of course an entire Performance section featuring playing tips from Ashley Young, Kyle Walker and Shane Long – and you've got yourself a bargain, sunbeam. To the shops, now!
The October 2012 issue of FourFourTwo was brought to you by Tito Vilanova, Frank Leboeuf, Yaya Toure, Roberto Di Matteo, Olivier Giroud, Diego Forlan, Kyle Walker, Cesc Fabregas, Joe Royle, Carlo Ancelotti, Louis Saha, Ashley Young, Sebastian Kehl, Mancini, Gareth Bale, Robbie Elliott, Nemanja Vidic, Brian Jensen, Gus Poyet, Alan Dicks, Michel Salgado, Shane Long, Mikel Arteta, Riccardo Montolivo, Rafael Benitez, Adam le Fondre, Mark Cook, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Darren Anderton, Angel di Maria, Nobby Solano, Serge from Kasabian and the Ashton Gate Eight.
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“Ah, the stepovers,” former Roma winger Mancini smiles. “We call them pedaladas in Brazil. They’ve always
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