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Why the real history behind The English Game matters – and what it tells us about modern football

The English Game, the new Netflix show from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, has landed at an opportune time. The show examines the early history of football in England andthe class element of the game's progression, as a sport with rules laid down by the upper class became increasingly popular with the working class.It was also a time where the topic of whether footballers should be paid was a genuinely controversial topic. As players' wages becomes a genuinebone of contention in a way not really seen since the lifting of the wage cap 50 years ago, Netflix must be pleased with the coincidental relevance.WHAT TO WATCH The best football films and documentaries to watch on Amazon PrimeThe final episode of...

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Quiz! Can you name the first XI from each of Cristiano Ronaldo's European trophy wins?

10 minutes on the clock, 77 namesto guess - some do appear more than onceRemember to tweet your scores@FourFourTwoand send to some friends!NEW ISSUEIn the mag! Ronaldo's new recordNOW TRYQuiz! Can you name the World Cup award winners since 1930? Cristiano Ronaldo will be 36 years old when he begins the defence of Portugal's European Championship title next summer. It's almost inarguable, by now, that he's the greatest European in the game, ever.CR7's lifted seven trophies to prove it, too. There are the two with Portugal, but don't forget the five times he's been a European champion at club level too.Of course, Cristiano has done it all on his lonesome. We'd like you to name all 70 teammates that he...

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How Graeme Souness kick-started a Rangers revolution

On April 8, 1986, Graeme Souness walked into the Blue Room at Ibrox Stadium and was unveiled as the new manager of Rangers. Not only did he re-awaken a sleeping giant, he also revolutionised the game in Scotland.The Liverpool legend and Scotland captain, who won three European Cups, five titles and four League Cups at Anfield, had been lured from Serie A –where he’d been strutting his stuff with Sampdoria –to replace Jock Wallace and became the club's first ever player-manager.It was an incredible coup, orchestrated and planned by chief executive David Holmes, with the ramifications massive not just for Rangers but for the Scottish and British game as a whole. Souness smashed the wage structure at Ibrox, signed the...

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Quiz! Can you name the World Cup award winners since 1930?

10 minutes on the clock, 65namesto guess.Remember to tweet your scores@FourFourTwoand send to some friends!NEW ISSUEIn the mag! Ronaldo's new recordNOW TRYQuiz! Can you name the last player to wear number 1-11 of every Premier League club? Didn't win the World Cup? Never mind, there are always the FIFA World Cup awards to be won, too.Just in case we forget who dominated World Cups of yesteryear, the various awards introduced over the years help to lay markers for who truly were the best players of each tournament.Win a Golden Boot - or shoe, as it used to be - and you'll forever go down in history as a great striker of the game. Same with the Golden Glove.Yes, it feels...

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Football’s financial response to coronavirus reveals the game’s leadership problem

Finally, a predictable moment. After all the uncertainty and chaos, at last, late on Monday night, football enjoyed a moment of normality.No, Gordon Taylor will not be taking a pay-cut.We get it. Taylor is not in a position to forgo or even defer part of his £2m a year salary, because doing so would create an unhelpful precedent for his members. It would be used against them and, as Taylor is keen to stress in every print or media appearance he makes, he’s obliged to take these bullets for the good of his union.He must, whether he likes or not, struggle on at full-pay.The optics of this situation are receiving plenty of reference at the moment. How it looks, how...

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