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Out now: World Soccer December 2023

Out now: World Soccer December 2023

Jamie Evans
Jamie Evans

The latest issue of World Soccer is now available to buy online and in shops

From the editor

There are some figures in football that you simply take for granted as ever-present pillars of the national game, and Bobby Charlton is one of them. A star of Manchester United almost as soon as he made his debut in 1956, there are few fans that can recall English football before Charlton. He left an indelible mark on the game as a player, is rightly considered the finest English footballer of all time, and remained a huge presence in his role as an ambassador for United. The image of his empty seat in the Old Trafford directors’ box, with a scarf draped over the back, was a particularly poignant moment in October’s Manchester derby. Watching old footage of Charlton is like watching a man playing against children. Not in his physical stature, but in the way that he played games entirely at his own pace. Quicker than everyone else, smarter than everyone else, he seemed capable of bending games entirely to his will, while his ability to pass and shoot off either foot from any distance makes for a unique highlights reel. In our first edition since Charlton’s death was announced, Keir Radnedge and Jonathan Wilson pay tribute to the legendary midfielder.

It seems oddly fitting that Charlton should pass away just as another English midfielder with a similar swagger and goalscoring ability begins to make his mark at an elite level. Jude Bellingham has been exceptional since joining Real Madrid, capping his early displays with a match-winning brace against Barcelona in the Clasico. We’ve taken a closer look at his form in our season update section, along with a number of other talking points from Europe’s top five leagues.

Elsewhere, Ajax are suffering their worst-ever start to a season, Fluminense are heading for the upcoming Club World Cup as the champions of South America, and the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup are both inching ever closer. We’ve covered all these stories, and more, in this issue.

Jamie Evans, Assistant Editor

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CONTENTS

THE WORLD THIS MONTH
14 Keir Radnedge Bobby Charlton: a real life Roy of the Rovers
16 Jonathan Wilson Bobby Charlton: Chasing Paradise
17 On The Radar Kendry Paez
18 Ins & Outs

19 Obituaries
20 Bobby Charlton Tribute to England’s greatest footballer

HEADLINERS
24 Ajax
25 Amine Gouiri

EYEWITNESS
26 Morocco How the North African country became CAF’s favoured destination
30 Saudi Arabia 2023 Club World Cup

34 Bosnia & Herzegovina The Mostar Derby

FEATURES
39 2023-24 Season Update Talking points from Europe’s top five leagues
50 Talent Scout Bryan Zaragoza & Emerging Sharpshooters

AFCON 2023 COUNTDOWN
52 Spotlight
 Victor Osimhen
56 Special Feature Club v Country tug of war
60 6 of the best Stars to watch
62 Face to face Sebastien Desabre

ASIAN CUP 2023 COUNTDOWN
64 5 tournament talking points
66 6 of the best Stars to watch

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL
70 UEFA Champions League

WORLD SERVICE
76 South America Copa Libertadores review
78 Africa CAF Champions League preview
80 United States MLS regular season review
82 Canada Canadian Premier League review
84 China Chinese Super League review
86 Falkland Islands
Football on the Falklands

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