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Every player wants to reach the top – but Cristiano Ronaldo is on a mission to become the best in the world.
The latest edition of the official UEFA Champions League magazine Champions charts Ronaldo's career from ball boy to superstar, hear what his coaches and peers say about him and how he was persuaded to forget leaving Manchester United FC. "Few players can play wide and attack defenders at the speed Cristiano does. He has not just got quality, he has the desire not to give in," says United coach Sir Alex Ferguson.
Crouch and Ben Arfa
On the theme of making it to the top, Peter Crouch and Hatem Ben Arfa share a love of playing at the highest level. In exclusive interviews, the Liverpool FC spearhead talks about how he has worked to change people's perceptions of him, and is now working on resurrecting the Anfield card school, while the Olympique Lyonnais midfielder says that he hopes to show off more dance steps by scoring more goals.
Gago and Higuain
Champions goes face-to-face with Real Madrid CF's Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuaín, two of Argentina's most exciting young stars. They also travel to Buenos Aires to discover the country's secret for nurturing such talent, and discovers that there are 500 youngsters on the books of every club.
Spalletti's Roma project
Over a leisurely lunch, Luciano Spalletti spills the beans on his AS Roma project. He has turned the Giallorossi into one of the most talked about teams in Europe. "What he has achieved at Roma is nothing short of a miracle," says the Corriere della Sera newspaper. José Mourinho is no stranger to headlines, and Champions devotes a Technical Area special to his tactical genius, as well as tipping the top ten coaches of the future.
The new issue also looks at stars of the past and the rise of FC Steaua Bucureşti who went from also-rans to European champions in three years.
Money talks ... but for who? Find out who are Europe's most valuable football clubs in a report compiled exclusively for Champions.
Elsewhere in the issue, Champions celebrates ten classic European knock-out ties, reports from the terraces of one of this season's shock UEFA Champions League results – FC Schalke 04's penalty shootout victory over FC Porto in the first knockout round, and examines the history of the stepover – step forward Germany's Hans Bongartz. And after boardroom upheaval and the engagement of Marco van Basten as coach, Champions asks if AFC Ajax are on the road back to the top.
Not forgetting an exclusive interview with Arsenal FC midfield maestro Mathieu Flamini, the arrival of Angola's Manucho at Manchester United; and tales from the training ground.
Champions, the official magazine of the UEFA Champions League, is on sale on newsstands and at stadiums across Europe.
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