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In the mag: Son Heung-min! PLUS Thiago Silva and Alisson exclusives, Juan Veron, Corinthian figures, dirtiest game and more

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First a message from our editor, James Andrew

There isn’t much that fans wouldn’t do to swap places with one of their heroes. Given that never happens, though (unless you happen to abuse Harry Redknapp in pre-season), the next best thing is seeing them have fun on a football pitch. 

Arguably, no player epitomises that more than Son Heung-min.

The Tottenham icon has always played wearing a smile – and his could yet widen come the season’s end, with Spurs in the hunt for silverware and Son himself in contention for individual accolades. 

This month, FFT spoke to several former team-mates about his brilliant journey from South Korea to north London, discovering some largely unknown highs and lows en route to becoming Asia’s all-time great.

And there's plenty more where that came from...

Son Heung-min: the ascent

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He’s been an icon in South Korea ever since bagging for Hamburg on his Bundesliga debut – but now, Son-mania has spread like wildfire across the globe. From failed trials at Portsmouth to idol status in Seoul, this is how Tottenham’s smiling assassin became the greatest Asian footballer of all time

Thiago Silva exclusive

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Thiago Silva almost died while on loan at Dynamo Moscow in 2006, but he battled back to become a serial winner for club and country. Chelsea’s Brazilian defender opens up to FFT about his gruelling journey to the top – and going big at Glastonbury...

Alisson exclusive

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He's has haunted strikers ever since his world-record switch to Liverpool in 2018, and now has Europe’s finest in his sights again. The Samba shot-stopper tells FFT why the Reds are in no mood to repeat last season’s Champions League failings – and how ignoring Jurgen Klopp can really pay off...

Asia: the trailblazers

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Son has become the torch-bearer for Asia’s finest on Planet Football – but long before him, a string of Eastern superstars overcame tragedy, red tape and military service to help break new ground

Corinthian figures: the story

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In 1995, a brand of collectibles stormed onto British shelves, then quickly flew off them. This is the tale of how Corinthian figures dominated for half a decade, told by those at the top – it all started with Star Trek...

You Ask The Questions: Kolo Toure

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The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Celtic stopper answers FFT readers' posers about clattering an all-time great, sibling rivalry... and dancing with Jamie Vardy

England's dirtiest game 

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Leeds have worn their ‘dirty’ prefix like a badge of honour for almost half a century, but the Whites weren’t even the worst aggressors in 1964’s barbaric Battle of Goodison – the most savage, bone-crunching showdown in English football history

Juan Seba Veron: El Presidente

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He dominated games in Italy before infamously struggling in England, but now the legendary Argentine – Estudiantes president since 2014 – tells FFT that he would do it all over again. Just a bit differently…

Saido Berahino: my side

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In the same week that Tottenham signed Son, Saido Berahino’s move from West Bromwich Albion to White Hart Lane acrimoniously broke down. The Burundi forward tells FFT why that sliding doors moment in 2015 transformed his career – and how the loss of his father has shaped his life

Balo, Boateng and Berlusconi at Monza

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Silvio Berlusconi flogged Milan in 2017 but Italy’s former leader couldn’t stay away from football for long. Three years after taking over third-tier Monza, they now stand on the cusp of reaching Serie A for the first time in their history – thanks to a little help from Boateng, Balotelli and pals

New section! Around The Grounds

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Introducing our brand new segment covering the Football League, Non-league and Scotland. Ian Holloway inks his first FFT column, Charlie Adam chats life at Dundee and being 'Parched', we assess a sorry situation at Worthing, while Colchester's Cohen Bramall explains why he'd take on every single one of his team-mates in a scrap. 

We also recall Taribo West at Plymouth, profile Luton's flying loanee Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, and reveal why Hibs are among the most pioneering clubs in Britain.

In the Players Lounge

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Jonathan Woodgate opens up on his nightmare debut for Real Madrid and overriding sense of regret, Tim Howard explains why Moyes was better than Fergie, ex-PSG man Maxwell discusses life as Zlatan's best bud, while Kelly Smith recalls the terrifying night she had to hide in a toilet. 

In Upfront...

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We're not done just yet. Comedian Ivo Graham reveals his most embarrassing moment as a Swindon Town fan, David James tells us the most important matches of his life, ex-Gunner Benik Afobe discusses bouncing back from tragedy at Trabzonspor, John Moncur champions smashing up a Wi-FI box, while there's bat chaos in Cameroon, Stasi revenge at Union Berlin and a triumph for loneliness in Brazil.    

We also bring you our regular quiz, and more of the best stories from Planet Football. Don't miss it! 

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