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The latest edition of official competition magazine Champions has exclusive interviews with seven of Europe's top stars: Ederson, Kolo Touré, Marcos Senna, Martin Škrtel, Scott McDonald, Deco and Patrice Evra.
In a Real Madrid CF special, Champions goes one-on-one with goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The Spain No1 speaks frankly about the transfer talk that surrounded the club all summer, but says it has not distracted their collective focus – winning European club football's most prestigious competition for a tenth time. Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano explains why he could never have played in England, and there is a profile of the Vulture Squadron: the best Madrid team never to lift the trophy. In addition, Manchester United FC full-back Evra recalls his first game for the club. "You have the striker tackling you, the midfielder as well, and sometimes the defender too! It felt like being in a washing machine!"
German legend Jürgen Klinsmann is back on the European scene as coach of FC Bayern München. Champions examines how he has set about restoring the club to its number-one spot in Germany, his players – Champions talks to new keeper Michael Rensing – and the weight of history that surrounds the four-time European club champions. As new Chelsea FC manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari aims to become the only coach to have won the Copa Libertadores and the UEFA Champions League. Champions looks back at his career, and a time when he wasn't afraid to wrestle a linesman to help his team.
Italy and France focus
ACF Fiorentina have played themselves back to the big time with a blend of artistic, attacking football, and coach Cesare Prandelli tells Champions that all of Serie A should follow suit. AS Roma are another ball-playing, forward-thinking side. This edition highlights their youth system and how they develop their players. It was from France that the idea of the European Champion Clubs' Cup came but their teams have had a hard time winning it! As Olympique Lyonnais, FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Olympique de Marseille kick off this season's adventure, Champions finds out the state of play in Ligue 1, and what is being done in the search for success.
Forwards and fans
In The striker who was scared of the goal, Champions explores the unique mind-set of the No9. Forwards are often lauded, but what happens when it starts to go wrong? "Failure is at my front door every day, people should remember that," says FC Barcelona's French frontrunner Thierry Henry. Cognac, goats, decapitation ... what goes on before the ref blows for kick-off? You support Celtic FC, why watch FC St. Pauli? The Scottish-German bond is just one fan friendship that has evolved. We look at different club bonds across Europe.
CFR 1907 Cluj are coming! The Transylvania club who surprised the whole of Romania by taking last season's Liga 1 title start their first UEFA Champions League adventure; Brazil and FC Shakhtar Donetsk's Ilsinho shows us round Donetsk; and Champions goes on the road with Drogheda United FC when the Republic of Ireland champions travelled to Kiev for a UEFA Champions League qualifier.
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