Jamie Orrell explains why you should buy the new issue of FourFourTwo...
The number of shivering short-wearers on your local high street will have told you that spring has sprung, but weÃ¢ÂÂre not interested in frolicking in the sun just yet.
All eyes at FFT Towers are locked on to the rapidly approaching Ã¢ÂÂbusiness endÃ¢ÂÂ of the season. So are those of the headline interviewee of our April 2011 issue, a footballing foreigners special, out now.
The fine young chap in question has swept everyone else in the Premier League aside over the past year, smashing goal scoring records while winning his team matches almost singlehandedly. His name? Why itÃ¢ÂÂs Robin van Persie, of course, and we have an exclusive interview.
Has it been frustrating to play in a side struggling after the sale of Cesc Fabregas? Does he really believe he can top a year in which he scored 48 goals for club and country? And why is Dennis Bergkamp Ã¢ÂÂold-timeyÃ¢ÂÂ? The Arsenal and Holland star answers these questions and more, opening up to reveal some astonishing truths.
But Van Persie is just one in a long line of stellar names from overseas to light up the English game. FourFourTwo looks back on how the foreign invasion began, from the pitch to the boardroom, and whether it made football in Blighty better or worse.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs not all about the Premier League, either. In an incredible 17-page feature, we reveal your clubÃ¢ÂÂs best and worst ever foreign player, as voted for by fans. From Aberdeen to Yeovil, we have the imported heroes, villains and absolute jokers in the English 92 and SPL.
Continuing our foreigners special, we find out what a typical day in the life of a Premier League star is like. From the snow to the cuisine, Argentine-Geordie wide-man Jonas Gutierrez, Omani Wigan stopper Ali Al-Habsi and Brazilian duo Lucas PiazÃÂ³n (Chelsea) and Andre Santos (Arsenal) tell us how theyÃ¢ÂÂve adapted.
We also go in search of a man considered not only the Premier LeagueÃ¢ÂÂs worst import, but perhaps the English top flightÃ¢ÂÂs worst ever player. The infamous Southampton alumnus is nowhere to be found Ã¢ÂÂ can we pick up the trail of Ali Dia?
Our latest One-on-One is with lovable trumpet-tooting Peruvian Nolberto Solano. He wasnÃ¢ÂÂt bad at that football lark, either. Nobby talks Newcastle, guinea pigs and being Christened Ã¢ÂÂthe little masterÃ¢ÂÂ by none other than Diego Maradona.
Moving abroad (the home of foreigners), we follow Roberto Carlos and Samuel EtoÃ¢ÂÂo to Dagestan Ã¢ÂÂ the most dangerous place in Europe, according to the BBC - to get the inside track on big-spending Russians Anzhi Makhachkala.
Clint Dempsey scored the only goal in the USAÃ¢ÂÂs first ever win over Italy, and is arguably the Premier LeagueÃ¢ÂÂs most underrated player. FourFourTwo has an exclusive chat with the Texan about Fulham, hat-tricks and fishing.
But wait, thereÃ¢ÂÂs more! Do you think Cloughie was the best manager England never had? Think again. Introducing Jesse Carver, who took Italian football by storm wearing slippers.
Elsewhere, we recall RonaldinhoÃ¢ÂÂs crazy year, talk Euro 2012 with Jerome Boateng, get expert advice from Yaya Toure and Phil Jones and meet the best supported youth team in the land Ã¢ÂÂ Rushden & Diamonds!
Plus, we crunch the numbers on every foreigner to play in the Premier League, and get Peter SchmeichelÃ¢ÂÂs Perfect XI of overseas imports. Phew.
The April issue of FourFourTwo was brought to you by: Nobby Solano, Aaron Ramsey, Matt Le Tissier, Teddy Sheringham, Andre Santos, Robin van Persie, Clint Dempsey, Yaya Toure, Mario Kempes, Kevin Doyle, Peter Schmeichel, Cliff Jones, Jonjo Shelvey, Roberto Carlos, Joao Carlos, Simon Grand, Dave Beasant, Jonas Gutierrez, Phil Jones, Keith Knox, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas Piazon, Terry Cooper, Brian Glanville, Hamit Altintop, Luke Rodgers, Rob Lee, Gordon Strachan, Ali Al-Habsi, Jerome Boateng, Michel Salgado, FatBoy Slim, the 90-year-old scout and fans from over 100 clubs.
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