Champions No41

José Mourinho and Louis van Gaal both feature as the new issue of Champions magazine warms up for the Madrid final meeting of FC Bayern München and FC Internazionale Milano.

Champions magazine is focused on the Madrid final
Champions magazine is focused on the Madrid final ©

As Saturday's UEFA Champions League final moves ever closer, the two finalists – FC Bayern München and FC Internazionale Milano – take pride of place in the latest edition of the official UEFA Champions League magazine Champions.

Representing the Bayern dugout is a pictorial history of coach Louis van Gaal while Internazionale boss José Mourinho talks exclusively about getting the Italian club to the final.

The Nerazzurri will face a tight contest in Madrid if Bastian Schweinsteiger has his way. "I love close games with a lot of pressure," said the German side's midfielder, who puts his competitive edge down to his Alpine skiing youth. Fellow midfielders David Beckham and Frank Lampard also appear on the Schweinsteiger radar.

Inter front man Diego Milito shares the Champions mic with brother Gabriel, the FC Barcelona centre-back he came up against in the semi-finals. The siblings insist they are not obsessed with winning the UEFA Champions League – it is much more important than that.

They say it is not the winning that counts in finals, but a collection of candid shots of European champions past suggests otherwise. The pictures – taken after other cameras had turned away – reveal the lasting joy of lifting club football's greatest prize.

Even so, Champions also presents 25 teams that never ruled Europe. Yes, the history books have room for glorious losers too. Among them: AS Saint-Etienne, the Ligue 1 side who lost the 1976 final yet still got a heroes' welcome in Paris. Even today, French fans of every colour can list the players that gave their country 'Green fever'.

In other articles, Champions offers a tactical analysis of whether teams serve their stars or the stars adapt to the team, while all ten of Paolo Maldini's coaches – including Fabio Capello – tell how the Italian came to be one of football's outstanding defenders.

Bayern's Ivica Olić takes a tour of Munich, and readers discover how a Wolverhampton Wanderers FC victory over Budapest Honvéd FC in the early 1950s was the grain of sand that grew into a pearl: the European Champion Clubs' Cup

Champions, official UEFA Champions League magazine, is on sale on newsstands across Europe. To subscribe, click here.