FourFourTwo 25th Anniversary Collection

FourFourTwo 25th Anniversary Collection

FourFourTwo 25th Anniversary Collection

Within the following pages you’ll reminisce about World Cup icons, unearth the early years of a certain Brazilian and discover which legend of the game is Kiefer ‘Sunderland’s’ biggest fan. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll step back to a time when Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund were staring at life in the German second division, learn the truth behind Botswana’s favourite fake player and relive the most dramatic moment’s in Champions League history. Oh, and the chap below features in here somewhere.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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in this issue

1 min.

Ever since its launch in September 1994, FourFourTwo has been breaking new ground in the quest to get you up close and personal with the icons of the beautiful game. Across its 300 issues to date the magazine has scoured the globe to talk to the likes of Ronaldo, Zidane and Messi, as well as true greats like Iain Dowie and Lee Trundle. We’ve spoken to fanatical fans, analysed the hottest new talent, illustrated some of the most breathtaking strikes and dived into the history of the game’s craziest owners–including one who toured Madrid on an elephant. With all that in mind, narrowing our selection of FFT’s finest content down to 148 pages was harder than pulling off Zlatan’s ‘pigeon wing’ in a phone box. Within the following pages you’ll reminisce…

2 min.
pelé at 70

“First of all I’d like to say what a big pleasure it is to be here among friends to talk about football,” says Pelé, and it’s hard not to believe him. This may be the billionth time The Greatest Footballer Ever has spoken about his extraordinary career, but if he’s bored of telling the same old stories, he’s doing a good job of hiding it. One thing the 69 year old does bemoan, though, is his lack of match-fitness. “Normally I train with kids at my soccer school in Santos,” he explains, “but this year–because of the World Cup, all the interviews that go with it, and then going to Africa–I haven’t had time so I’m a little out of shape. I’ve still got a good touch–you never lose that. Your…

4 min.
the early years

Born in Tres Coracoes in Minas Gerais State in the southeast of Brazil, Edson Arantes do Nascimento grew up in near poverty in Bauru, Sao Paulo State, one of several stops on his father’s journey as a jobbing semi-professional striker. While Joao Ramos do Nascimento (aka Dondinho) supplemented his modest football income with part-time jobs, his wife Dona Celeste raised Edson and his two younger siblings (Zoca and Maria Lucia) with the help of her brother and mother, who also lived in the ramshackle two-room house. When the would-be ‘Pelé’ first kicked a ball aged six–having previously kicked several other objects around the favela near the family home–he dreamed only of following his father into the professional ranks of Bauru Athletic Club (BAC), where young Edson was a youth-team player. But…

3 min.

“All the boys would call me Pelé and I’d fight with them–I didn't want to be called that!” My nickname “My father gave me the name Edson, because he really admired the American inventor Thomas Edison. I was very proud, because it was the name of a very important person. Then, when I moved to Bauru in Sao Paulo State, where my father played football, my sister Lucia starting calling me Dico, which comes from Edson–Edinho, Edico, Dico! Then, in Bauru, because they had a player–a goalkeeper–called Bile, who was a friend of my father, some people started to call me Bile–which sounds like Pelé. So all the boys started to call me Pelé, and I would fight with them, because I was very proud of my name Edson–I didn’t want to…

4 min.
the santos years

To say Pelé’s potential was obvious from a young age would be a huge understatement: when Waldemar de Brito took him to Santos, he told the directors that the modestly built 15-year-old would be “the greatest football player in the world”. No pressure then. But Pelé didn’t disappoint. When he arrived in the industrial port city, 50 miles from Sao Paulo, the club was already on the up. Pelé sent them into orbit. He was top scorer in his first full season and Sao Paulo champions in his second. Nine more state titles followed, along with five national and two South American titles. When Santos won back-to-back Intercontinental Cups against Benfica and AC Milan in 1962 and 1963 respectively, Pelé scored seven goals across two two-legged ties. Pelé didn’t make…

3 min.
pele on…

My toughest opponent “It’s hard to say. You see, whoever I played against I had the best defender marking me, but the best were Bobby Moore and Franz Beckenbauer. Beckenbauer was fantastic–very intelligent, very tough to beat. And Bob was the best centre-back I’ve seen–so quick up here [points to his head].” My 1000th goal “You know, I scored a lot of good goals. A lot of headed goals, a lot of bicycle kicks, a lot of goals with a dribble. So people say, ‘Why was Pelé’s 1000th goal a penalty?’ Then a famous journalist in Brazil wrote, ‘God said the world has to stop and see this goal–that’s why it was a penalty kick.’ So I like to say it was God’s decision, and also God’s decision where I scored the goal,…