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In the mag: Messi, Bale, Rodriguez, Suarez, De Boer! Plus the Players' Poll!

It's that time again, folks – and the latest issue of FFT is a corker.

Three of La Liga's biggest stars, Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, sat down to reveal all about their frantic lives off the pitch.

Little Leo spills on dealing with the pressure of being the world's best player (arguably, OK?); Real rival Bale reveals an 'average' day in Madrid; the people who know Luis Suarez best (family, agent and friend) offer the true side of Barcelona's headline-grabbing star, and we look back at the rise of Golden Boot winner James with the man himself. Pick your favourite cover off the shelves, and off you go. 

But if you want to find out what footballers really think of the game, look no further than our comprehensive Players' Poll of 123 professionals. We quizzed them on everything from booze to betting, via refereeing and racism, to discover the game's overriding attitudes from within. Would they respect female managers? Are they financially secure for life? And who's their favourite pundit?

Meanwhile, how does a club break down social barriers and boost its support at the same time? FFT hit south London and Soho with semi-pro pioneers Dulwich Hamlet to find out. 

For this month's Action Replay, we revisit the 1974 FIFA presidential election that saw England sidelined and the game go truly global. Joao Havelange's usurping of Sir Stanley Rous ignited a new era of pound pinching, power hunger and prickly politics...

Next up, FFT's reflections from Africa – and the stuff you might have missed. Having been given the tournament just two months before the opening game, Equatorial Guinea's hosting of AFCON 2015 was never likely to pass without incident. Our man on the ground was there for every madcap moment, featuring bats, hotel nightmares and the cab-driving organiser...

Plus, should the away goals rule be scrapped? Fergie thinks so – and he's not alone. With trips abroad now less taxing and teams going on the defensive, we ask whether the idea still works. 

This month's One-on-One takes us on a career reflection with Ajax boss Frank de Boer, the legendary Dutchman of Champions League-winning and ex-Barcelona fame. What's it like playing for Louis van Gaal? Why did Holland fail so miserably at Euro 96? And why isn't he managing Spurs or Liverpool?

In Upfront, we've got former Celtic striker Harald Brattbakk on his current life in the sky, Bruce Grobbelaar reminiscing, and the football-mad folk who tied the knot with their real first love in tow.  

Planet Football features an interview with Zenit's €40 million man Axel Witsel, a chat with the defender who's spent six seasons on loan with the same club, Belgian football's WAG awards and the ultimate battle to find world football's greatest mascot. 

Charlie Austin recalls his rise from builder to top-flight sharpshooter in Performance, West Ham's Stewart Downing offers a masterclass in causing danger across the frontline, and nutritionist Matt Lovell gives FFT's homemade treats the thumbs up. Mmm.

The April 2015 issue of FourFourTwo is available from Wednesday March 3 in print and in a specially-designed-for-iPad versionSubscribe now and receive future issues through your letterbox.