In the mag: Mohamed Salah world exclusive! The Liverpool legend on Ballon d'Or glory, his greatest goals – and his Anfield future
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First a message from our editor, James Andrew:
At some point, you wonder what more there is to say about Mohamed Salah. He’s been the Premier League’s outstanding performer in recent seasons, while many believe that this is his year to win the Ballon d’Or – a competition he’s never finished higher than fifth in.
So we decided to ask the Egyptian king himself, getting Liverpool’s leading light to offer his take on the big talking points surrounding him right now. FFT was delighted to sit down for a lengthy chat with Salah himself, who discussed the highs and lows of his Anfield career to date, his highly ambitious hopes for the current campaign – and of course, the red-hot topic of his future on Merseyside.
As well as being one of the world’s best players, Salah also proved himself to be engaging company as he tackled some thorny issues and made his positions perfectly clear.
The interviews don’t stop there in this issue: we also put your questions to former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, and settled in with Sean Dyche to talk all things football and music.
There’s also a particularly cracking feature on Brian Clough’s first title triumph with Derby 50 years ago, revealing more terrific insight into a footballing demigod. Enjoy...
Mo Salah gets stuck in
He's become a Liverpool legend in less than five years at Anfield – but he’ll never tell you his appetite is sated. With more trophies to be won and personal accolades to aim for, the Ballon d’Or hopeful exclusively tells FourFourTwo why he’s not satisfied just yet... and why remaining on Merseyside is in his heart
Guus Hiddink answers YOUR questions
The former Chelsea, South Korea and Australia boss reveals his superb stories of Iniesta, dirty tricks on Uruguay – and becoming a multinational icon
George Weah: Africa's trailblazer
In 1995, Weah did something no African footballer had ever done before in winning the Ballon d’Or – and hasn’t again in the 27 years hence. But how did a former weed-smoking striker conquer the world… without really scoring that many goals? Allow FFT to explain…
Egypt's decade of disarray
A deadly riot forced Mo Salah out of his home country in 2012. A decade on, the Egyptian Premier League is yet to recover from those fateful events
The greatest football video games EVER
Sports gaming has come on leaps and bounds since Atari brought us Pong way back in 1972 – FFT ranks the finest football titles that have surfaced since then, featuring referee dashes, Kebab Shop FC, a balletic Tony Popovic and the much-loved Tonton Zola Moukoko
Brian Clough's first title: 50 years on
Rewind exactly half a century and Brian Clough was helping unfancied Derby to break into the elite and bag a maiden top flight title. Where was he when the Rams clinched it? On the Isles of Scilly, naturally …
Chelsea's real doom days
Roman Abramovich's sanctions plunged Chelsea into disarray, yet 40 years ago fan riots, financial crises and legal wrangling made for a bleaker Stamford Bridge situation. In their time of need came a spiky Ealing businessman who didn’t suffer fools – but saved the club
Sean Dyche: the secret rock star
Since guiding the Clarets to promotion in 2016, Dyche hasn’t had to face a season as tough as this one. Thankfully he’s been steeled to shake off adversity, via boos at Bristol City and limo rides with Stuart Pearce
Dale Jennings: to Bayern and back
Jennings was the one-season Tranmere wonderkid who bagged a stunning move to Bayern Munich in 2011, then struggled to sustain the dream. A decade on, and now turning out for Prescot Cables, he relives his unsettling experience...
In the Players Lounge...
Claudio Taffarel humbly sets the record straight on his overrated USA 94 campaign, Chris Sutton offers up his Shearer vs Larsson appraisal, Vincenzo Montella recalls his curious loan spell at Fulham, while Malcolm Macdonald remembers the day he called Don Revie a bastard. All that and more...
Going Around The Grounds...
Salisbury boss Steve Claridge makes his case to become an EFL boss in future, while our columnist Ian Holloway recalls his madcap play-off memories with four different clubs.
Elsewhere, we chat to crime fiction legend Val McDermid about the new team that bears her name in the wake of Goodwillie-gate, remember the day Ferenc Puskas showed up to play for a non-league side in Liverpool, quiz an Oxford United fan about why John Aldridge ruined his big day, and profile six defunct clubs who made a mark on British football.
Milan legend Franco Baresi does his best to pick out four matches that changed his life forever, while Libertines hero (and QPR nut) Pete Doherty recalls the day Les Ferdinand pretended to be a hotel concierge.
There's also news of a former Ballon d'Or winner joining Ukraine's war effort, the Brazilian fourth-tier side inspired by Crystal Palace, an interview with former Selecao man Vagner Love – still going strong at 37 in Denmark – and Hal Robson-Kanu answering daft questions about spice.
Chuck in a retrospective on 10 years of Blackburn chicken madness and our regular quiz, and you've got yourself a jam-packed front section.
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Joe was the Deputy Editor at FourFourTwo until 2022, having risen through the FFT academy and been on the brand since 2013 in various capacities.
By weekend and frustrating midweek night he is a Leicester City fan, and in 2020 co-wrote the autobiography of former Foxes winger Matt Piper – subsequently listed for both the Telegraph and William Hill Sports Book of the Year awards.
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