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The vast, enthralling spectrum of European football comes under the microscope again in the second edition of UEFA's new Champions magazine.
The stars that attract the crowds on the pitch, the coaches who make the stars tick, and the burning issues in modern-day football are all covered in depth in the official UEFA Champions League publication, which was issued for the first time earlier this season.
Vieri and Zidane
Pride of place in the latest issue goes to Internazionale FC striker Christian Vieri. The crack Italian striker talks about his life off the pitch, as well as his career on it in an exclusive interview. French superstar Zinédine Zidane, meanwhile, gives an insight into his life, family and the beliefs that have shaped his successful adventure in football.
A wealth of top European coaches tell us about their football philosophies and how it feels to be the man in charge. Issue No2 features Felix Magath, who has brought the glory days back to German outfit VfB Stuttgart, José Mourinho, the architect of FC Porto's UEFA Cup triumph last season, and Alex McLeish, Rangers FC's ambitious coach.
The clubs who make the headlines also take centre stage in Champions. Chelsea FC stars Hernán Crespo, Damien Duff, Claude Makelele, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Joe Cole and Geremi take us behind the scenes at the big-spending London club. Across the North Sea in the Netherlands, Champions examines why so many of the AFC Ajax lineup come from across the Low Countries border in Belgium.
The key football administrators also talk to Champions. A revealing feature looks at UEFA President Lennart Johansson, who reflects on his life in football, his philosophies on the game, and his hopes for the sport's future as it moves further into the new millennium.
Stars of tomorrow
Football's future receives further coverage with an insight into youth work in the game, and how youngsters should be nurtured to become the stars of tomorrow. Top coaches from England, France and Germany, including Liverpool FC coach Gérard Houllier, answer questions such as whether the disappearance of children playing football in the street is having a dramatic effect on youth development.
Tactical trends and the men who shape them are analysed in detail. Champions picks out ten players who have made a name for themselves as defensive midfield players – the workers, such as FC Bayern München's Jens Jeremies or Juventus FC's Edgar Davids, whose industry alongside the playmakers is an essential aspect of today's top teams.
The art of taking – and stopping – penalties is examined in its various facets. Add to this statistics, match reports and other essential information for the fans, and it is clear that Champions is a magazine that no football enthusiast can be without. Champions appears in English, French and German, and is available at newspaper kiosks as well as at Europe's major stadiums.
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