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It’s that time again. An exclusive look at what’s inside Issue 06 of Eight by Eight

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It’s an exciting time to be a football fan: FIFA’s in disarray, the European season is about to begin, foreign stars are flooding MLS, and a new issue of Eight by Eight is here.

If you’re a subscriber, we thank you for your continued support; if you’re not, we hope that this issue convinces you to take the plunge and support this independent magazine. Eight by Eight is a labor of love, constructed by people with a passion for football, journalism, illustration, and design.

So, what’s inside?

First things first: Lionel Messi. Why is he so special? There are millions of talented players in the world, but Messi stands head and shoulders above them all. Corley Miller (who examined Arsene Wenger in Issue 05) explores the dynamics of Messi’s ascent to greatness—and why he’s so radically different from the legends that came before him.

(An important note: To celebrate the new issue, we’re giving away five signed pieces of official Lionel Messi merchandise. Click here for complete details.)

Download a free preview of the new issue

06_3D_Mourinho_pitchMeanwhile, Philippe Auclair looks at the dark side of the game, arguing that this summer’s bevy of charges against FIFA executives is just the tip of the iceberg—and that the complete story of the deeply flawed and corrupt organization has yet to be revealed.

06_3D_StPauli_pitchAs millions of Americans prepare to welcome the Bundesliga into their living rooms through a new television deal with Fox, Uli Hesse examines Phillip Lahm, likely the league and world’s most underrated player. Hesse also pays a visit to FC St. Pauli, a colorful team from an industrial city steeped in the local community, which has become one of the most well-supported sides in Europe and a cult-favorite abroad—all without winning a single trophy.

06_3D_Bergkamp_pitchBack in the U.S., the idea of promotion and relegation in Major League Soccer continues to be a flash point for supporters and detractors alike. Jack Williams takes us inside the pro/rel debate, exploring what advocates of pro/rel would like to see, and why — despite their protests — MLS will likely never abandon its franchise-based system.

Of course, there’s (much, much) more: Simon Barnes tells us why José Mourinho has a friend in Captain Beefheart; Amy Lawrence recounts a peculiar phone call she received from Arsène Wenger about North London ace Dennis Bergkamp and his reluctance to fly; Andrew Helms dissects Frank Lampard’s long-delayed move to NYCFC; Jonathan Wilson has an important and compelling read on the Bradford City fire; and Kim Lightbody tracks every stadium in the city of London (it’s more than you think). 88_06_Lampard_pitchAnd that’s just a taste of what’s inside! We’re thrilled about this new issue, and think you will be too. Thank you for continued support of Eight by Eight and for sharing the word about us over pints and on Twitter. And please do let us know what you think! We value and appreciate your feedback.

-The Eight by Eight team

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