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In UEFA's jubilee year, the latest edition of the official UEFA Champions League magazine, Champions, has a retrospective theme as the game's stars name the 250 greatest European players of all time, while UEFA's early days are profiled.
Illustrious personalities of the past and present, including Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane, Kenny Dalglish, Marcello Lippi, Ruud Krol and Eusébio, have been polled as Champions sets out to discover the best European footballers of all time. Great players, national coaches and top club managers have all taken part and with their votes gathered, the winner can now be unveiled.
Fifty years after UEFA was founded in Basel, Switzerland on 15 June 1954, Champions looks back at the infancy of European football's governing body and the visionaries who shaped the European game at a time when Elvis Presley cut his first record.
Ronaldinho and Cruyff
Elsewhere in this issue, Guillem Balague profiles FC Barcelona's Brazilian star Ronaldinho, the player that Diego Maradona acclaims as his successor, while Johan Cruyff discusses money and why keeping people happy is more important than success in the modern game.
With 727 goals in 715 games, Eusébio is Portugal's greatest ever player. Yet his most treasured possession is Alfredo Di Stéfano's shirt. Champions talks to this very modest hero who returned to the limelight as a Portuguese icon during UEFA EURO 2004™.
If a top-class keeper is worth 15 points a season to a club, what is a sports psychologist worth, and is success a question of mind over matter? Champions has the answers and assesses the performances of the top four clubs in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain last season.
On a wing
Robert Pires, Jérôme Rothen, Arjen Robben ... tricky wide men are back. Seven of the best come under the microscope, while Patrick Kluivert, Mateja Kezman and Thierry Henry tell us what it is like to be a striker and reveal a few of the secrets of their trade.
Manchester United FC goalkeeper Tim Howard talks about being a scapegoat and coping with Tourette's syndrome. He also explains why it's cool to be a keeper in America. The eleven strange football stories include the German who launched David Hasselhoff's pop career, the Norwegian sold for his weight in shrimps, and the winger who hypnotised a chicken. The magazine appears in English, French and German, and goes on sale in the shops and at Europe's major football stadiums now.
To subscribe to Champions, click here.
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