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Champions gets ready for knockout rounds

Published: Thursday 20 January 2011, 13.00CET
With the UEFA Champions League round of 16 next on the agenda, the new edition of Champions magazine warms up for the latest meeting of FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC.
Champions gets ready for knockout rounds
Champions #45 (01.2011) ©UEFA.com
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 20 January 2011, 13.00CET

Champions gets ready for knockout rounds

With the UEFA Champions League round of 16 next on the agenda, the new edition of Champions magazine warms up for the latest meeting of FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC.

Issue 45 of Champions magazine previews the much-anticipated round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC.

Overcome at Camp Nou in last season's quarter-final, the English club are confident that, on form, they have what it takes to win this year's rematch. For Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola, meanwhile, Arsenal are the last side he would have wanted to face. We assess either team's chances of success in a tie that represents the purists' dream.

This edition of Champions also celebrates the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2010 featuring six players from Barça; it profiles midfielder Jack Wilshire, Arsenal's bright young thing, asking if he is England's first total footballer; and it listens in on Albert Ferrer and Pedro Rodríguez as Blaugrana past and present discuss life at Camp Nou.

Staying with the round of 16, we focus on 16 players that could make the difference between delight and despair when the ties unfold in February and March.

Chelsea FC midfielder Frank Lampard is eager to go one step further than in Moscow in 2008 by adding a UEFA Champions League winners' medal to his collection. In an exclusive interview, he tells Champions that being over 30 makes zero difference to his attitude and determination to keep playing at the top.

His England team-mate Wayne Rooney opens up on the players he loved to watch as a youngster and what reaching this season's final at Wembley would mean to him and the Manchester United FC supporters.

Former Italy forward Roberto Baggio gives a rare interview in which he talks candidly about his glorious career – his battles, joys and successes, dropping out, and why now is the right time to return as part of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) technical staff. He sums up his philosophy saying: "I have never really been satisfied by the easily scored goal."

The man touted as a future AS Roma and Italy captain, Daniele De Rossi, retraces his journey from ball boy and Francesco Totti fan to Giallorossi crowd favourite. Over in Madrid, meanwhile, we catch up with the Argentinian international dazzling the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu: Real Madrid CF's left winger Ángel Di María – a quiet man with big talent.

Champions travels to Tallinn to speak to Estonia's football pioneers whose goal is making inroads in the UEFA Champions League. Valencia CF coach Unai Emery is already enjoying life in Europe's premier club competition and he guides us through his typical day and footballing views.

The Portuguese game comes under the spotlight in Dossier, we examine the rise of the long-range shot and recall the man who gave away the European Champion Clubs' Cup. Plus: Hugo Lloris, Bixente Lizarazu, the Sami Khedira/Bastian Schweinsteiger double act, and much more.

Last updated: 28/01/12 4.40CET

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