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Champions No29

Published: Monday 19 May 2008, 9.15CET
A special edition of the magazine celebrates the first all-English final in UEFA Champions League history, and talks to Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tévez, Nani, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack.
Champions No29
Chelsea's Michael Ballack has won over the doubters ©UEFA.com
 

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Published: Monday 19 May 2008, 9.15CET

Champions No29

A special edition of the magazine celebrates the first all-English final in UEFA Champions League history, and talks to Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tévez, Nani, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack.

The UEFA Champions League final is here and the latest issue of the official UEFA Champions League magazine, Champions, celebrates Wednesday's first all-English final in Moscow.

Special souvenir issue
In this special souvenir edition, Champions speaks to five of the finalists. Manchester United FC's Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tévez and Nani talk about finding their feet at Old Trafford and dealing with the pressures that come with playing for such a big club. At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC's Player of the Season, Michael Essien, has proved his versatility and unearthed his shooting boots: "My shooting is getting better. I used to kill people in the stands, now it's the goalkeepers!" His namesake Michael Ballack, now back to his best, reflects on having to defend himself while out injured and reveals how he has learned to be "more aggressive".

Best-dressed men
William Gallas, Slaven Bilić, Lionel Messi, Rio Ferdinand ... Champions takes its place on fashion's front row and presents its ten best-dressed men in European football. This issue also features Dads and Lads with exclusive interviews with two of Liverpool FC and Spain's footballing families: the Reinas – Pepe and father Miguel – discuss "swallowing the goalkeeper's poison", while the Alonsos – midfield maestros Periko and Xabi – have precision passing as their specialist subject.

Bojan's brilliance
One youngster who knows the way to goal is FC Barcelona's latest attacking prodigy, Bojan Krkić. We chart his incredible rise. "Part of what's so great about him is that so few know what makes him great," says former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff. As for defenders, in a one-on-one with Real Madrid CF's Sergio Ramos, he tells how he is working to become a world-class talent. And don't bet against him – he is destined to do just that, according to Paolo Maldini.

Hiddink speaks
With all eyes on Moscow, Russia coach Guus Hiddink talks exclusively about tactics, his EURO-bound team and what it was like coaching Romário; Champions recalls the legendary Lev Yashin, the USSR's man in black who reinvented the art of goalkeeping; plus Russia's all-time top Xl.

Classic battles
Elsewhere in the Moscow edition, Champions celebrates ten classic battles that have won the continent's premier prize; presents an A to Z of European Champion Clubs' Cup and UEFA Champions League finals; looks at the riches attendant on lifting the trophy; and examines the Manchester United bond linking Sir Matt Busby with Sir Alex Ferguson. Not forgetting an exclusive interview with German referee Markus Merk; the overhead kick – invented in Brazil or Birmingham and perfected around the world; and five players on the brink of Serie A stardom.

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Last updated: 29/01/12 9.42CET

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