Australian FourFourTwo May 2018

FourFourTwo is Australia’s only soccer magazine! If you live, sleep and breathe football you’ve come to the right place… With access, insight and passion, we take you deep inside the game delivering world class, entertaining content on the English Premier League, the world’s best players, top European club sides and leagues, the Socceroos and the A-League.

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in this issue

2 min
straight from the stands

This is peak fantasy football time. As we run out domestic leagues, everyone’s scrabbling to make the final tweaks to make or break their seasons. But once every four years, we get to play it on the big stage... and pick who we would take to the World Cup. Do we rely on the team that got us there or revitalise with new blood? This year, more than most, the squad should perhaps have been wide open. Our unconvincing run to Russia – which took us on the longest route possible – exposed defensive frailties and an all too often impotent attack, which has opened up opportunities for fresh faces to make an impact. Ange Postecoglou’s decision to quit after qualifying however has left new World Cup caretaker coach (which in itself…

1 min
mamma mia, cristiano...

When even rival fans give you a standing ovation as they get beaten 3-0 at home, you know the strike is something special. It was. Juve fans saw Real genius from Ronaldo. Look, in the past there has been many a bicycle kick that’s gone in – but look at the height he’s got. Look how far out he is. Look at the precision in the technique, the power and direction. Look at it. Just look at it. Gosh. There’s little more you can say or do but just applaud. We are in the presence of genius. Best in the world? Best of all-time? Who cares? Just enjoy it when it happens while you can.…

17 min
upfront one-on-one arjen robben

“I’M A BIT LIKE A FORMULA ONE CAR – IF THERE’S ONE LITTLE SCREW THAT’S NOT SO GOOD MY MOTOR WILL BLOW UP” CLUBS 2000-02 Groningen 2002-04 PSV 2004-07 Chelsea 2007-09 Real Madrid 2009- Bayern Munich COUNTRY 2003-17 Netherlands It’s the day after Arjen Robben’s 34th birthday, but there’s no sign of the Dutchman taking it easy as he walks briskly towards FourFourTwo like he’s bearing down on a terrified Bundesliga full-back. Fortunately for us, Robben resists the temptation to drop a shoulder and cut inside using his trademark move, opting instead to shake our hand before posing for the camera. During his 18 years in football, the Bayern Munich wideman has been though the ecstasy of Champions League glory and crushing despair of World Cup final defeat, although he’s not quite done with petrifying opposition defenders yet. “I don’t feel any…

6 min
around the world in 12 stories

1 ARMANI: FASHION KING Argentina Mendoza Goalkeeper Franco Armani got a special treat after a man-of-the-match display in River Plate’s Supercopa victory over bitter rivals Boca Juniors, a showdown played on neutral territory. Not only was Armani given a Burger King crown as part of the award’s new sponsorship deal, he even got to wear it live on television during a post-game interview. Next time he’s in danger of winning the honour, it might be worth letting in a last-minute goal, to save a bit of embarrassment.... 2 “THIS IS YOUR FAULT, PEP!” England London So exciting has been Manchester City’s football this season that they’re peeling fans off the ceiling – literally. One of their supporters got a little carried away when he boarded a Tube train ahead of the Citizens’ clash with Arsenal, swinging from…

3 min
my greatest goal wout brama

THE LEAD UP In the league we were first and they were second and it was a big rivalry between the two clubs at the time. We were going to play Ajax two weeks in a row, fighting for both the Cup and the League. It was special. Twente was my club – I had been there since I was 12. It makes it more special for me because I loved that club and played there for 16 years. I’m always nervous before any game, but if I lost that, I’d probably quit football because it’s something to play for. It’s not just for fun or with friends, you play for real. THE MATCH We trailed 2-0, I don’t think we played badly, they were on top of us a little bit and…

3 min
‘our players were in their prime, we’d have given the grand final a good crack’

I knew I made it as a player when I was still playing state league in Western Sydney with Macarthur Rams and we played Lawrie McKinna’s Parramatta Power in a community game. After the game Lawrie pretty much said, ‘We want you to come out and train with us for a week and see what you think.’ At that point, I didn’t really look at it and think it was going to be my career, but it was the first step towards what would happen after. I was happiest when I was at Newcastle. It was a new club and I felt a bit more mature. It wasn’t until the second/third year where I really started to have an older head, enjoy my football more and realise what position I was…