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The stars and issues of the moment come under the spotlight in the latest issue of Champions, the official UEFA Champions League magazine, which is out now. Pride of place goes to England captain and Real Madrid CF midfielder David Beckham.
Life in Madrid
Beckham speaks to Champions about life in Madrid, his coach at former club Manchester United FC, Sir Alex Ferguson, and amazing comebacks by English teams in UEFA Champions League finals – comparing United's last-gasp fightback against FC Bayern München in Barcelona in 1999 to Liverpool FC's astonishing recovery to beat AC Milan in Istanbul last May.
FC Barcelona's Brazilian ace Ronaldinho selects a few of his favourite players, just for Champions, while Portugal's Luís Figo reflects on his career and why he did not like being branded a 'galáctico' during his stint with Real Madrid CF.
Carragher and Essien
Liverpool's Jamie Carragher – a hero of Istanbul – talks about training as the European title-holders defend their crown, and names the legend whose shirt he treasures. Down in London, Chelsea FC midfield motor Michael Essien gives the lowdown on Roman Abramovich and his dreams as Ghana prepare for this summer's FIFA World Cup.
Houllier's positive thinking
At Essien's old club Olympique Lyonnais, coach Gérard Houllier is enjoying a splendid first term at the forefront of the French and continental games. Houllier explains how the power of positive thinking helps him as he angles for success. Elsewhere, Champions identifies Europe's 20 up-and-coming coaches as well as its ten best goalkeepers.
German footballers have a reputation for being efficient without being spectacular – but this is not always the case. Champions spotlights the mavericks who have left their mark on the game in Germany, such as brilliant 1970s playmaker Günter Netzer. The focus also falls on the continent's most soccer-mad royal, Prince Albert of Monaco, in an edition packed with riches for the discerning football enthusiast.
Champions magazine appears in English and is on sale in shops and at Europe's major football stadiums.
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