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This season’s UEFA Champions League final is upon us – and the latest edition of the competition's official magazine, Champions, highlights next Wednesday’s showdown in Istanbul between AC Milan and Liverpool FC.
Shevchenko and Alonso
Milan’s Ukrainian spearhead Andriy Shevchenko talks about heart surgery, Russian politics and Liverpool legend Ian Rush’s boots, while Liverpool’s Xavi Alonso explains why he’s a passing machine and how tinned tuna has helped him settle in England. Elsewhere, team-mate Dietmar Hamman talks about being the rock in the Liverpool midfield.
Chelsea FC's Frank Lampard - “the most complete midfielder in the world” - on the perks and pitfalls of being posh, working with coach José Mourinho, and which attributes he would like to pinch from the world’s best middle men. Real Madrid CF coach Vanderlei Luxembergo explains how to revive flagging 'gálacticos', and why he was wrong about David Beckham being lazy. Meet his fitness and tactics gurus, the men who have helped turn Madrid into an altogether tougher proposition.
Skonto FC are perennial contenders in the Champions League qualifying rounds and have won every title since the Latvian league was formed. But, as Champions finds out, Latvia’s young football association is still experiencing football growing pains, even if it has come along way from when it didn’t have a fax, an international phone line or a full set of shirts for the national team.
When French legend Raymond Kopa’s Madrid relinquished their grip on the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in the early 1960s, it was the SL Benfica side managed by wily Hungarian Bela Guttman which took up the baton. Champions charts the life and times of the enigmatic coach, while Kopa says football was better than coalmining.
Scoring and saving
Champions dissects the DNA of the perfect goalscorer, while Valencia CF goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares talks about life on the receiving end. Elsewhere, one-time Mestalla man Mario Kempes talks sticky coaching situations in Indonesia.
Season to taste
Champions picks out the ten men whose clubs could not have done without them in Europe this season, UEFA President Lennart Johansson talks about awards and meeting royalty, the stars pick their Champions League top dogs and the finalists are profiled in full.
Add to that a wealth of statistics and the latest issue is a must for any football enthusiast. Issue No10 of Champions is on sale in the shops and at Europe's major football stadiums.
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