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Match of the Day Magazine Issue 629

Match of the Day is Britain’s best-selling football magazine. We bring our youth audience closer to their heroes with an action-packed version of the iconic TV programme. Facts, stats and gossip provide our audience with the knowledge they need for playground banter, while glossy posters, quizzes and cartoons allow them to celebrate the game they’re obsessed with. Parents and teachers say it’s sometimes the only thing boys will read. A huge compliment.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
52 Issues

in this issue

1 min
euro 2020 is here!

IT’S KICK-OFF TIME! IT’S 364 DAYS later than it should’ve been, but the European Championship is finally around the corner and WE ARE HERE FOR IT! There’ll be world-class ballers, huge crunch matches and epic drama – but before it all gets started, get stuck into this special kick-off issue. Enjoy! UEFA EURO 2020 England, Scotland and Wales’ opening games will be all be shown live on the BBC! BBC 5 FAST FACTS! Portugal are the current holders! The final will take place on Sunday 11 July! There are 11 host cities, including London! Nations can take 26 players, rather than 23! The mascot is calied Skillzy! It’s happening!…

3 min
group a turkey / italy / wales / switzerland

WALES FACT FILE Nickname The Dragons Manager Robert Page (caretaker) Captain Gareth Bale FIFA ranking 17 How to say football in Welsh “Pel-droed!” Greatest player Ryan Giggs IF THEY WERE A SNACK… BAG OF RANDOMS It’s hard to guess what you’ll get from this new-look Wales pack, but there are some juicy players in there! THE BIG QUESTION! CAN GARETH BALE INSPIRE WALES’ NEXT-GEN? Gaz has been a bit inconsistent at Spurs – but he’s a baller when he hits top form! STRONGEST LINE-UP FORMATION 3-4-3 SUPER SUB Harry Wilson STRENGTHS The young vibe in the squad means their performances will be full of energy, flair and speed. Plus, they have a serial UCL winner up top! WEAKNESS Their strength is also their weakness. Only a handful of the squad have ever played at a major tournament, which could cost them big time! MOTD MAG…

3 min
group b denmark / finland / belgium / russia

BELGIUM FACT FILE Nickname The Red Devils Manager Roberto Martinez Captain Eden Hazard FIFA ranking 1 How tosay football in Belgian “Voetbal!” Greatest player Kevin De Bruyne EUROS RECORD! APPERANCES 5 BEST PERFORMANCE RUNNERS-UP, 1980 IF THEY WERE A SNACK… BOX OF CELEBRATIONS Packed with strong options, but are there even better selections out there? Maybe! THE BIG QUESTION! IS THIS THE YEAR BELGIUM’S GOLDEN GENERATION CLICK? With the ballers they have, nothing could stop them – so YES, it could be! STRONGEST LINE-UP FORMATION 3-4-2-1 SUPER SUB Dries Mertens STRENGTHS Belgium arguably have the strongest front three at the tournament – it’s just whether they can hit hot form after a long domestic season! WEAKNESSES If Lukaku gets injured, Michy Batshuayi is a massive drop-off in quality, so they’ll have to keep Rom fit if they want to be on flames! MOTD MAG VERDICT The Red Devils are…

3 min
group c holland / ukraine / austria / n. macedonia

HOLLAND FACT FILE Nickname Oranje Manager Frank de Boer Captain Georginio Wijnaldum FIFA ranking 16 How to say football in Dutch “Voetbal!” Greatest player Johan Cruyff IF THEY WERE A SNACK… PACK OF JAFFA CAKES You can’t quite work out how good they really are, but they defo bring a real zesty vibe! THE BIG QUESTION! HOW WILL THEY DO WITHOUT VAN DIJK? They have options, but losing VVD is a huge blow. It’ll cost them in the end! STRONGEST LINE-UP! FORMATION 4-3-3 SUPER SUB Davy Klaasen STRENGTHS Holland’s midfield has it all – graft, five-star passing, creativity, discipline, power and control. It’ll take a serious team to break them down! WEAKNESSES It’s no secret – there is a huge Virgil van Dijkshaped hole in their defence. Without their leader, Holland’s defence will be easier to pierce! MOTD MAG VERDICT The Oranje are talented and should cruise…

4 min
group d england / scotland / croatia / czech republic

ENGLAND FACT FILE Nickname The Three Lions Manager Gareth Southgate Captain Harry Kane FIFA ranking 4 How to say football in English “Football!” Greatest player Sir Bobby Charlton EUROS RECORD!APPEARANCES 9BEST PERFORMANCESEMI-FINALS, 1996 IF THEY WERE A SNACK… PACKET OF MINIATURE HEROES A firm favourite packed with great choices – but can also disappoint on occasions! THE BIG QUESTION! WILL THE THREE LIONS FINALLY BRING FOOTBALL HOME? This is their best chance in years. If Kane starts firing, anything could happen! STRONGEST LINE-UP FORMATION 4-3-3 SUPER SUB Raheem Sterling STRENGTHS The attacking options in this squad are a joke! On the bench will be Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish, to name just a few! WEAKNESSES Pressure. England have always had a massive problem dealing with it in big tournaments. It’s Southgate’s job to prove they can cope! MOTD MAG VERDICT The squad is strong,…

3 min
group e spain / sweden / poland / slovakia

SPAIN FACT FILE Nickname The Red Fury Manager Luis Enrique Captain Sergio Busquets FIFA ranking 6 How to say football in Spanish “Futbol!” Greatest player Xavi EUROS RECORD! APPEARANCES 9 BEST PERFORMANCE WINNERS, 1964, 2008, 2012 IF THEY WERE A SNACK... STARBURST MINIS This is a remixed version of a classic squad that dominated for a while. Not as decent, though! THE BIG QUESTION! WHO WILL STEP UP AND GIVE SPAIN THEIR SPARK? This squad isn’t what it used to be, so Spain need a new hero to emerge! STRONGEST LINE-UP FORMATION 4-3-3 SUPER SUB Gerard Moreno STRENGTHS Spain are known for possession and attacking play, but their defence is also boom. They let in just five goals in ten qualification games! WEAKNESSES They miss a world-class striker. Alvaro Morata is a bit meh and Gerard Moreno is good but a little inexperienced. This could really hurt them! MOTD…