MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 8.7.2000

Didier Deschamps of France, lifting the European Championship trophy, is the main cover star of Match, as they review Euro 2000, the first European Championship of the 21st Century.

Match goes behind the scenes with BBC 1 show ‘Footy Fever’ as presenters Katy Hill and Matt Smith are joined by Lee Sharpe, to preview the Euro 2000 Quarter-Finals.

Patrick Vieira gets interviewed about his favourite music, stating he loves American Rap, and wouldn’t swap his football career for a music one.

The final of Euro 2000 gets four pages of coverage, in a countdown diary style, covering from both team’s Semi-Finals on the Wednesday (France v Portugal) and Thursday (Italy v Holland) all the way through to the climax of the tournament on the Sunday night.

To commemorate the final, there is a poster of the victorious France team.

There is also a double page given to the big debate ….. who is better between Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, asking players who played in the tournament.

Three French players were asked and two Portugese. Unsurprisingly, the two Portugese went with Figo, but only one French player went with Zidane – Bixente Lizarazu abstained and Frank Lebeouf went with Figo.

Within a year, both Figo (2000) and Zidane (2001) would make world record moves to Real Madrid.

In this magazine, Figo admits he’s a big fan of the Premier League, and would love to move to England at some point in his career.

Match does an interview with Steven Gerrard, playing in his first major tournament at the age of 20 having just broken into the Liverpool team, where he mentions that he would like to be England captain one day.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 9.9.2000

Seven cover stars as the 2000-2001 Champions League group stages get underway, as a player from each of the four (one Scottish, three English) UK teams involved, and foreign stars such as Luis Figo (Real Madrid), Zinedine Zidane (Juventus) and Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona)

Match does a double page interview with Ryan Giggs about his experiences in the European Cup, before turning over for a double page spread on selected teams involved. The four UK teams (Manchester United, Arsenal, Leeds United, Rangers) are previewed on the left page, while the right page has teams listed under ‘Foreign Faves’ and ‘The Outside Bets’

Eventual winners Bayern Munich are in ‘Foreign Faves’, and the preview says “Watch out for young Owen Hargreaves, the British teenage whizzkid” while runners-up Valencia were listed under ‘The Outside Bets’

After three poor league seasons (though they did reach two FA Cup Finals) since finishing 2nd in 1997, Newcastle United were now revitalised under Sir Bobby Robson, and Match had a joint interview with Warren Barton and Steve Harper about this.

Newcastle would go on to finish 4th (2002) and 3rd (2003) in the following three seasons, before a decline which resulted in relegation in 2009.

In 2000, the internet was becoming more accessible for the public, and footballers were jumping on the bandwagon. Match met Jamie Redknapp and Rio Ferdinand at the launch of their own websites, though both players admit they’re not that internet savvy.

Redknapp says it’s a great opportunity to share his thoughts with the rest of the world, set the record straight about newspaper stories, and answer questions from fans. It’s basically Twitter, before Twitter.

Match then gives a guide to the best footballer websites, with players and managers such as Ben Thatcher, Harry Redknapp, Patrick Berger and George Boateng all having their own websites.

Patrick Berger’s website revelas that his first car was a Skoda.

George Graham gets interviewed about the state of English football, believing that English players should work on their technique, and try to be more like Germany or Holland.

Match does a double page spread on Sylvain Wiltord’s protracted transfer from Bordeaux to Arsenal, due to Bordeaux’s lack of willingness to sell, and his former club Deportivo La Coruna being entitled to a percentage of any future transfer fee.

In news, or more rumours, Paul Dalglish of Norwich City is supposedly dating Hannah from S Club 7.

Match does a double page interview with Eirik Bakke on his rise where he played a vital part in Leeds title challenge and played for Norway at Euro 2000, where it is revealed he is related to Monaco player John Arne Riise, who Leeds tried to sign that summer, but couldn’t agree a fee with Monaco.