Rants and musings from the magazine team
Futurology is a difficult business. As anyone who's followed FourFourTwo since 1994 will know, some of our Boy's A Bit Special predictions have turned out rather ordinary. But then, sometimes you just know when a player is on the cusp of greatness. And just as it's better to travel than to arrive, sometimes the excitement of anticipation is the best of all.
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So it is with barely-contained glee that in the new issue of FourFourTwo we unveil 20 players on the brink of brilliance at Manchester United, AC Milan, Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Everton and more. Some you'll know, some you may not, but they're all worth a look. Remember the names…
Once one for the future, Jonathan Woodgate has ended up having a decidedly 'interesting' career. As he returns home to Middlesbrough he pauses to answer your One-on-One questions with honesty and not a little wit.
As usual, we've been watching the game at all levels, and used our unrivalled access to bring you all the best stories – from the stars to the gutter. We whip up a what-next for Wayne Rooney and peep behind the scenes at Juventus, but we also spend some time at Britain's most dysfunctional club (Port Vale, since you ask) and meet the drug-smuggler whose performances for his prison team won him a professional contract. (He's not one of the Next Big Things, though.)
From elsewhere in Planet Football we bring you the majorettes making training fun at Hannover, the world's most crazy football stadia (including one made out of a crocodile) and the fans travelling 1,000km for every home game.
In our player-enhancing Performance section this month, you'll get Rio Ferdinand on defensive headers, Patrick Vieira on protecting your back four, stretching advice from Olympian Louis Smith and a trip round Carlton Cole's mind gym.
And because we like a look back, we also round up the game's best-ever moustaches and recall the career: Alan Brown, perhaps the hardest coach we've ever heard of, and the man who made Brian Clough. Thanks for that, Mr Brown sir.
This issue of FourFourTwo was brought to you by Jonathan Woodgate, Nobby Solano, Paul Fairclough, Michael Kightly, Peter Reid, Colin Kazim-Richards, Patrick Vieira, Colin Doyle, Ali Al-Habsi, Michel Salgado, The Player, Raheem Sterling, Mickael Landreau, Philippe Albert, Enzo Scifo, Rio Mavuba, John Guidetti, Oscar, Maxim Molokoedov, Jamie Lawrence, Micky Quinn, Robbie Savage, Neven Subotic, Benjamin Huggel, Mauro Camoranesi, Rio Ferdinand, Adam Le Fondre, Patrick Vieira, Louis Smith, Carlton Cole and Razor Ruddock.
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PS in a forthcoming issue we'll be looking for every team's best goal ever – and we want your help. More details: Name your club's best goal ever. Thanks!
Basel would finish the 2009-10 season as Swiss champions but were struggling to kick-start their campaign
In the November 2012 edition of FourFourTwo - out now - we reveal twenty of the players who are about
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