It may seem inconceivable now, but at some point in the next 10 years, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will hang up their boots. To think of a time when those two aren’t scoring goals and breaking records is hard to imagine. But fear not: the future’s already here.
In this issue, we celebrate that with 50 players who are likely to own the next decade. Marcus Rashford is at the forefront of a new generation of exciting English talent, and invited us round for a chat about past, present and future – and the only thing that matters to him: trophies.
Erling Haaland may still be a few months shy of his 20th birthday, meanwhile, but the Norwegian teenager is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in world football. After his stunning start at Borussia Dortmund, it’s easy to see why, as he opens up about his amazing story so far.
We also bring you exclusive chats with Arsenal goal-getter Gabriel Martinelli, Real Madrid sensation Vinicius Jr and Wolves maestro Ruben Neves, plus a joint sit-down with rising siblings Reece (Chelsea) and Lauren (Manchester United) James, who could make Three Lions history together.
Elsewhere, Bolo Zenden answers your posers, while Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy and Scotland manager Steve Clarke preview the Euro 2020 play-offs. Remember: the future’s bright.
Stars of the decade
FFT introduces the under-23s who will dominate the next decade in football, starting with the striker who’s already talismanic for England’s most successful club and a key part of his country's future.
How Trent changed full-backs
Trent Alexander-Arnold has smashed Premier League assist records and made it sexy to be a right-back – and he’s still only 21. But how? FFT asks the experts for their theories of evolution.
Erling Haaland: Mr Midas
Haaland Jr is already turning yellow into gold with Borussia Dortmund – and the boy wonder has no intention of stopping for anyone. Just don’t tell him that he’s already better than his dad...
The Brazilian has already matched Arsenal records set by Ian Wright and Nicolas Anelka, giving hope to a fanbase starved of recent glory. Luckily for them, this young Gunner's in it for the long haul.
Meet the James’
Reece and Lauren James are both thriving in the top flight at Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, and could make Three Lions history by representing their country. FFT brings the prodigious siblings together for a trip down memory lane and glance into the crystal ball.
Ruben Neves: Wolf man
Porto debutant at the age of 17, Champions League skipper at 18, Wolves hero at 21… Ruben Neves has defied age and toppled records on his journey to Premier League stardom with the Midlanders – but even that won’t get him out of cooking for his fellow Portuguese team-mates, he tells us...
After his jaw-dropping transfer to Real Madrid stunned football in 2017, a 16-year-old boy has become a man at the Bernabeu. Vinicius Jr tells FFT all about life under the microscope.
Mbappe: the decade is his
Aged 21, Kylian Mbappe has already hoovered up all of France’s domestic titles and inspired Les Bleus to World Cup glory, so what does the next 10 years hold in store? Prepare to crown a new king.
Liverpool’s last league title
Nobody of sound mind would have predicted Liverpool’s 1990 title winners to be their last for 30 years, but only now are the Reds going to rule again. FFT revisits the last champs on Merseyside.
The scandal of Tony Kay
In 1962, Sheffield Wednesday talisman Tony Kay bet on his team to lose and made the biggest mistake of his life. It earned him time in prison – and an unwanted meeting with the Kray twins…
Euro 2020 play-offs preview
Steve Clarke, Mick McCarthy and Michael O’Neill are vying to ensure that Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively are at Euro 2020 – but at least one of them must fall…
You Ask The Questions: Boudewijn Zenden
The ex-Barcelona and Chelsea winger on playing alongside Ronaldo, just missing out on major tournament glory with the Netherlands, dislocating Xavi’s shoulder, and why he’s known as ‘Bolo’.
The Players Lounge
Nobby Solano tells FFT how he regularly annoyed Bobby Robson by playing his trumpet, Steve Perryman looks back on a long, successful career at Spurs, Yakubu reveals why he loved Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth, and Wes Brown recalls the day he couldn’t find Eric Cantona’s boots.
Great gear we’ve taken a shine to, featuring jazzy jumpers and Manchester United’s next top model.
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