In the mag: FourFourTwo's 2020 awards! Starring Lewandowski, Bellingham, Robertson, Grealish, Warnock, Harder, Bielsa, Bendtner and many more
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First a message from our editor, James Andrew
It’s fair to say that 2020 was, er, different. But despite the world going mad, football did its best to soldier on.
So, it’s only right that at the end of 12 peculiar months, FFT tips its hat to the winners of 2020 (yes, they do exist). France Football cancelled its Ballon d’Or, but we now have a pretty good idea about who would have picked up the top prizes after collecting votes from 128 journalists in 102 countries. Two players have every right to grumble.
Jude Bellingham isn’t grumbling. The superb 17-year-old swapped Birmingham for Dortmund last summer, and now tells us all about it. But while Jude may just be starting out, others are nearing the end… or so you’d think. FFT caught up with an ever-entertaining Neil Warnock, who this year bossed his 1,500th game at Middlesbrough.
There are also excellent (if very different) interviews with Andy Robertson and Nicklas Bendtner, while we celebrate the brilliant life of legend Jack Charlton.
Let me also use this space to honour Diego Maradona, who passed away in
late November. Our tribute to him in the last issue was sadly well timed, but summed up the wonderful personality he was. Rest in peace, El Diego.
Here’s to a much happier 2021....
No Ballon d'Or? No problem!
Football’s glitziest individual award has been scrapped this year – but it won’t stop FFT crowning our own king and queen of a mad 2020. With votes from 128 journalists in 102 countries, we discover who’s been robbed...
Andy Robertson: my mad 2020
While the world collapsed in 2020, Andrew Robertson lifted Liverpool’s first top-flight title for three decades, then helped to finally end Scotland’s 22-year wait for a major tournament appearance as captain. And, boy, did he make the most of it – even if it meant (briefly) donning a Chelsea shirt, as he tells FFT...
Jude Bellingham: BVB wonder
At 17, Jude Bellingham has already dazzled for a season in the Championship, made Champions League history and settled seamlessly into his new surroundings with Borussia Dortmund. Toppling Bayern Munich? No worries...
Neil Warnock: "I might get Botox..."
He fought off coronavirus to save Middlesbrough from relegation and boss his 1,500th game in 2020. With that twinkle in his eye still there, he tells FFT why retirement talk will have to wait. This time he really means it...
Deportivo La Coruna's decline
Twenty years ago, Deportivo La Coruna became Spanish champions – now, they’re languishing in the third tier for the first time since 1981. How on Earth did things get so bad? FFT goes in search of answers
Zlatan: oh, he's still got it
Bravado follows Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but why change when you back it up? Now 39, the Swede retains his magic
Jack Charlton: in memoriam
In July, football mourned after losing one of its greatest ever characters; a man loved in not one but two nations thanks to his outstanding work as both a player and manager. Now, FFT remembers the everlasting laughs of Big Jack with those who knew him
Cult heroes of the year
Messrs Grealish, Vardy and Bielsa have all enjoyed terrific 2020s – and are well on their way to being immortalised in stone at this rate...
Well, 2020: you’ve been awful. Thanks for that. But as we wave goodbye to this bizarre and arduous year, we do so with a chuckle – Lord knows there’s been plenty to go at…
In the Players Lounge...
Pablo Zabaleta explains why he's secretly annoyed with Sergio Aguero, Stuart Pearce discusses Sex Pistols gigs with Gareth Southgate, Arthur Numan remembers the best way to piss of Rangers fans, while Kevin Kilbane recalls being taunted by a referee
Wait! That's not all...
In Upfront, Montpellier's Hilton explains how he's still keeping up with Mbappe & Co at the age of 43, Laura Woods details her life as a Gunner, we detail Jersey Bulls' horrible year from hell, Jamie Carragher tells us his greatest games, Paul Parker picks a Perfect XI, and there's a double-page end-of-year quiz special for good measure.
Don't miss it!
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FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.
By Ryan Dabbs