NEW ISSUE: Rooney, Neymar, England and Brazil 2014
Yes, the football season is over. But we're already counting down the days Ã¢ÂÂ not just to next season, but also something even more special. Just 12 measly months stand between us and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
To celebrate, the cover of the July 2013 edition of FourFourTwo stars two footballers whose careers will be defined by what happens over the next year.
First up is the player likely to be the poster boy of the tournament Ã¢ÂÂ Brazilian sensation Neymar. The 21-year-old Barcelona-bound forward tells FFT about the pressure he and his international team-mates will be under to win a sixth world crown in front of their own fans, the management techniques of 'Big Phil' Scolari and how he and his team will improve ahead of next summer's festival of football.
We also speak exclusively with England's leading man, Wayne Rooney, regarding all matters concerning the national team: working under Roy Hodgson, taking tactical advice from former team-mate Gary Neville, the emergence of Jack Wilshere and, of course, the small matter of Brazil 2014. Wazza-Roo also explains that he has no wish to drop back and become a string-pulling, deep-lying midfield player, and underlines the fact his only goal with England is trophies, not... errrm... goals.
At this stage, you may be muttering "but FFT, what if England don't qualify?" We've got it covered. We explain exactly what Roy Hodgson will need to do to drag his team over the line in UEFA Qualifying Group H, including a full analysis of exactly how and where England should utilise Wayne Rooney. We also go inside the base from which England will launch their assault on Brazil Ã¢ÂÂ St George's Park.
Elsewhere in the mag we go One-on-One with former Leeds, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Netherlands striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Who was his favourite strike partner? Why did he adopt the name 'Jimmy'? Did he really steal tickets to see Public Enemy? Find out the answers to all these questions and more.
Remember Aldo Pedro Poy's diving header against Newell's Old Boys from 1971? You would if you were a Rosario Central fan, because that goal put the Argentine club into the cup final and sparked a tradition of the goal being recreated every single year since. Think Baddiel and Skinner's Phoenix from the Flames, but with 2,000 rubber face masks, a Cuban revolutionary, the Guinness Book of Records, a candidate for the American vice-presidency and a petrified body part.
Remember when the only food you could get at a football stadium was a lukewarm pie? Football cuisine has come a long way in the last two decades; FFT charts its progress like a matchgoing Egon Ronay.
As usual, we've been rifling through the best contacts book in the business to bring you exclusive interviews. Among those talking to us this month are Brazil defender Thiago Silva, Lille's former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou, Inter hero Dejan Stankovic and our star columnist Diego Forlan, who pays tribute to his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
We also ask whether it's time to scrap the transfer window, tell the tale of AEK's nightmare season, leaf through Don Revie's long-lost player dossiers, try to follow a Premier League match using just Twitter and ponder which other goal celebrations may be subject to copyright claims...
Last but not least, there's our Performance section, where you can get top playing tips from those who have done at the highest level Ã¢ÂÂ including Michael Ballack on being dominant in the air and Lucas Moura on dribbling the Brazilian way.
The July 2013 edition of FourFourTwo was brought to you by... Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Mathieu Manset, Paulo Sousa, Nigel Winterburn, Ray Wilkins, Diego Forlan, Wayne Rooney, the lovely staff of St George's Park, Neymar, Thiago Silva, Dejan Stankovic, Grafite, Salomon Kalou, Michael Ballack, Martin Petrov, Lucas Moura, Matt Jarvis, Charlie Austin and Gareth Southgate.