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It’s 28 years since Adrian Paz became the first South American to play in the Premier League – the Uruguayan didn’t have a big impact at Ipswich, but players from the continent have been lighting up the division ever since.
Paz wasn’t the first South American to line up in England, of course. Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa helped Spurs lift the FA Cup in the ’80s, while Mirandinha moved to Newcastle. Juninho, Faustino Asprilla, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and many more have gone on to delight up and down the land.
This season, some of the biggest Premier League signings have been South American, whether it be Darwin Nunez leading the line for Liverpool, Manchester United rebuilding with Casemiro and Antony, or Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus heading to north London. We assess the impact they could have in the race for silverware, both this term and beyond.
Elsewhere, Jill Scott talks about winning Euro 2022 and retirement, Gary Neville unveils his seven-point plan to save football, Jordi Cruyff discusses all things Barcelona, and we look back at Swindon’s crazy rise to the top flight.
Next month, watch out for our big World Cup preview – on sale October 19, the usual mag will be accompanied by our special 68-page guide to the tournament and a giant wallchart too. It’s one not to be missed!
The evolution of Darwin Nunez
The Uruguayan didn’t seem like a natural replacement for Sadio Mané at Anfield, but he’s arrived to give Liverpool a very different goal threat. An early red card in front of the Sky cameras delayed the adaptation – fear not though, he’s overcome a difficult start before.
The Brazilian isn’t short of confidence after joining Spurs in a £60 million deal this summer. Look out, Bobby Firmino: he’s after your milestone…
Jesus: Arsenal’s saviour
Dropping out of the top four, not helped by their No.9 curse, Arsenal needed a redeemer. Their new Brazilian forward has offered some divine inspiration.
Casemiro & Antony: a new hope
Manchester United have spent £146m on two players who both began their careers at Sao Paulo, but stylistically they are polar opposites...
Newcastle’s new mayor
Bruno Guimaraes landed on Tyneside in January and immediately made himself a Gallowgate idol. He tells FFT that he owes it all to his dad’s lucky taxi number.
Welcome to management
After famously crossing the Manchester divide in 2009, Carlos Tevez has a habit
of surprising people – this summer he did it again, moving into coaching at Rosario Central. ‘El Apache’ has quickly won the fanbase’s hearts, but not without some stress.
David Dein answers YOUR questions
Was he keen on an Alex Ferguson-George Graham double act at Highbury? How did he persuade Sol Campbell to leave Spurs? What really happened when Arsenal just missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo? The ex-Gunners vice-chairman reveals all...
Gary Neville: my masterplan
The former Manchester United defender has been campaigning to improve the national game for quite some time – now, talking exclusively to FFT, he outlines his seven-point blueprint. The first priority? No more herding cats…
Swindon’s crazy decade
Thirty seasons ago, Glenn Hoddle guided Swindon into the top flight for the first and only time – it was the high watermark of a mad decade in which the Robins had promotion cancelled, were fined for tax fraud and shipped 100 Premier League goals.
Between The Lines
Jill Scott is the only player, man or woman, to have appeared in two major finals for England. After heartbreak at Euro 2009, the 35-year-old finally roared to Lionesses success this summer before calling time on her career – and as she tells FFT, even Boyzone were congratulating her…
Football vs the media
It cost him the England job, but Sam Allardyce wasn’t the first person to fall foul of the football media. Long before him, the game’s top brass were fielding bizarre requests for tracksuits from Steve Staunton...
Now back at the club as sporting advisor, a quarter of a century after leaving the Camp Nou as a player, Jordi Cruyff tells FFT he’s eager to continue his dad’s legacy – in any way he can.
In the Players Lounge…
Rafael Marquez recalls embarrassing training sessions against Lionel Messi, Brian Deane remembers landmark strikes, Massimo Taibi admits his regret at leaving Manchester United early and Dean Ashton reflects on injury hell and FA Cup agony.
Around The Grounds…
Our dedicated section for the EFL, non-league and Scotland brings you an interview with Solihull gaffer Neal Ardley, while in Cardiff’s Best & Worst we hail the late Peter Whittingham and cult hero Robin Friday. Elsewhere, we profile Preston loanee Troy Parrott, look back at Hearts’ Battenberg kit and revisit Bolton’s Season of Shame.
Our packed front section on all things Planet Football kicks off with flying granny goalkeepers in Guatemala and Elano listing the five games that changed his life. Meanwhile, Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor waxes lyrical about Aston Villa and Victor Wanyama updates us on his MLS stint in Montreal and horror movie hatred.
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