The new issue of FourFourTwo means an exclusive sit-down with everyone's favourite Mario, our exclusive chat with Manuel Pellegrini, origins of the terrace chant, on the ground with troubled Hyde, England's first foreign legion, David Ginola One-on-One, football's fashion disasters, trending in the Champions League, and is passion all it's cracked up to be?
In the new issue of the world’s greatest football magazine - available in print and in a specially-designed-for-iPad version - we sit down for a rare chat with Milan maestro and former Manchester City headline-pleaser Mario Balotelli. When FFT heads to Italy to meet the madcap Italian, we're not sure what to expect - will we get the player whose entertaining antics wreaked havoc in England, or the misunderstood genius hoping to set Brazil alight at the World Cup this summer?
In the end it's a bit of both - and who'd have it any other way? Naturally, there was one burning question we wanted answering for our readers: who is the real Mario Balotelli? In an enlightening session with the Milan goal-getter, we have a stab at getting to the bottom of it all. Is he the world's greatest? Will we see him back in the Premier League one day? Can we have that t-shirt off him please? Sadly there's only one 'yes' to those - but we're pretty sure you'll be pleased with it...
If Manchester City fans weren't bowled over by Manuel Pellegrini succeeding Roberto Mancini at the Etihad, they almost certainly are now. Despite managing Real Madrid in between successful stints at Villarreal and Malaga, the Chilean still arrived in England as something as an unknown quantity. Was he really the man to wrench the title back off Manchester United after last season's dismal attempts at defending it?
So far it's looking good for the man they call The Engineer. City are demolishing all in their wake at home, and are on course to break the million-goal barrier before the season's end (honestly, ask those number folk). FFT headed to Manchester to find out how it's all been possible, from the man who knows best.
So Liverpool fans refuse to stroll by themselves, while their West Ham counterparts will never, ever tire of blowing those soapy spheres - but where on earth did their famous ditties come from? From "You're not singing anymore" to "Who ate all the pies?", FFT does some digging to trace the origins of our beloved terrace chants. 'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go...
"Pah! All them foreigners taking our jobs..." In 1978, when the European Community ruled that football clubs couldn't deny access to players based on nationality anymore, a new revolution was born. Tottenham snapped up Argentine crowd-pleasers Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, Sheffield United signed inspirational Alex Sabella after snubbing Diego Maradona, and Ipswich were wowed with Dutch duo Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen. They were the first of many, and, after many a raised eyebrow, sparked an exciting new wave of truly sexy football...
If there's a team who knows how to lose properly, it's Hyde. The Greater Manchester side sit rock bottom of the Skrill Premier after a hideous season which has taken in just one win (which prompted the club's entertaining official Twitter feed, @hydefclive, to exclaim: "We've done it, the lads have finally done it! And a clean sheet! Brilliant!" (before texting his wife to get her "sexy gear" on). The worst part is that they've been nowhere near as bad as the table suggests, giving away more points from leading positions than goodwill turkeys at Thanksgiving.
Regardless, Hyde are hurtling towards the sixth tier quickly, and FFT wants to know more from the troubled souls forced to follow the team out of sheer loyalty. "If this club was a horse... we'd have been sent off for dog meat now," says one fan. Don't worry chap, May isn't too far away now.
February means London Fashion Week - so the ideal chance for us to remind you of some of the worst (meaning best) football photoshoots. Warning: includes a partially painted Franck Ribery, Michael Carrick looking incredibly uncomfortable in a sports car and Jari Litmanen... well, we think you'd better see for yourself.
"RUN BERBA, ****ING RUN." You've all heard it before [insert your player for the loveable Dimitar], with plenty of other fruity words for company. But does it really matter if your star striker doesn't look arsed when he scores a goal? FFT speaks to the men who've been there and done it - including former Liverpool man Jamie Carragher and ex-Toon favourite Micky Quinn - to discover if it's worth the stress...
Looking forward to the Champions League knockout stages? Good, so are we. So that's why FFT thought we'd get in the spirit by predicting what'll go down on Twitter when the big guns collide. #oracle
If there's one thing you can't accuse David Ginola of, it's shirking a question. "When I speak to people they listen to me," the Frenchman tells FFT. So we do, as he recalls his best stories from a 17-year career which took in entertaining spells at Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton. Could he have ditched Newcastle for Barcelona and Arsenal? Will he ever make up with Gerard Houllier? Why didn't he get more France caps?
We'll also bring you an exclusive with Bayern Munich stopper Dante in our new Brazil section (and of course, much more), along with expert tips and advice from the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Jordi Alba and Tim Cahill in our regular Performance segment.
The new issue of FourFourTwo is brought to you by: Mario Balotelli, Manuel Pellegrini, Ossie Ardiles, Luther Blissett, Phil Scolari, Jordi Alba, Daniel Sturridge, Alan Shearer, Xabi Alonso, David Ginola, Ivan Golac, Arnold Muhren, Brian Deane, Dante, Gary Hamson, Michael Owen, Ivan Rakitic, Jamie McAllister, Kevin Kilbane, Diego Forlan, Patrik Berger, Roberto Soldado, Michael Gray, Sami Hyypia, Micky Quinn, Nelinho, Tim Cahill, Jim Smith, Alan Brazil, Mark Bright, Hyde FC, Reading's kitman, the man who counted Pele's goals and a lipreader.
Available from Wednesday in print and in a specially-designed-for-iPad version.