Welcome to MUNDIAL Magazine Issue 23. Since 2014, we’ve been releasing magazines that remind the world why they love football. And, in Issue 23, we think we’ve done that better than in any of our previous editions.
Inside you'll find stories about icons like Edgar Davids, Pep Guardiola, David Beckham, Sam Kerr, and an epic 20 page feature that crystallises Zinedine Zidane's career through ten defining games. Masterclasses in major tournaments. Forgotten battles in far flung locations. Kickabouts with his mates. It’s got the lot.
You'll also find stories about things you didn't know about: grassroots games in the Parisian banlieue, a fairytale from south Wales, and all the best things in J. League. You'll find pictures of dogs, burgers, and Ferenc Puskás' sausage factory. There's a travel piece in Germany, a list on the greatest shithouse moments in women's football history, and an incredible report on the anti-fascist hooligans fighting on the Ukrainian frontline.
You can order your copy to your door by clicking here.
With a guiding hand from everyone involved in making the magazine at MUNDIAL, here is an exclusive look inside Issue 23.
Seb White—Editor at Large
What Jake Hanrahan has done with Popular Front is incredible, and to get him to contribute to MUNDIAL has been a long-held dream. His piece on the anti-fascist football hooligans in Ukraine who have been thrust into the front line is important, timely and an absolute must-read. I’m annoyed I didn’t know the Llantwit Major story already, to be honest, and James Bird’s excellent piece made me smile, laugh, and also be very angry. Football isn’t always brilliant.
Writing about my first ever away game for the Groundhopping feature brought back some brilliant memories and a chance to swoon again over the floodlights at Edgar Street. You could say that place instigated the fire that made me a football obsessive, and then a zine obsessive and founder, and then a MUNDIAL obsessive founder. I might not be writing this right now if I hadn’t gone to that game.
James Bird—Features Editor
There is a photo of someone wearing a Nike sock in a jelly shoe on some astroturf in Émile-Samoray Fofana’s photo story from the Parisian suburbs. I love the whole story, every image from it could be a poster, but the jelly shoe and socks is sensational—something I wish I could pull off. Similarly, Niall Hodson’s photos for the Llantwit Major piece—all shot in medium format, all happy people, scorched grass, proud trophies—are very special.
Last thing, we sat around on press night arguing about which film titles should accompany the different Zidane features. Is it revolutionary? No. Is it fun? Yes. And, Alex’s shout for Cinema Paradiso as the title for the piece about Zidane going home to La Castellane and putting on a clinic in the old gym is the best thing in the mag.
Owen Blackhurst—Editorial Director
The best thing about this issue and the thing I love the most is the cover. There are loads of great sentences and phrases in the mag, some of them written by other people, but it’s the cover for me. Visually, it’s just so pure. It’s direct and hits you over the head with his name, but the way it’s staggered to include the masthead and his balding bonce softens it and adds curiosity. It’s got a bit of Saul Bass to it, a bit of Hitchcock has directed Walter Mitty and been kicked off the production, and Wes Anderson has taken over. I could look at it for hours and not get bored. It’s subtle and startling at the same time. I thought we’d never do another cover and now we’ve done this. It’s the best thing about this issue, and it’s going up on the wall at home.
Alex Mertekis—Art Director
My favourite thing about this issue was on the day before we went to print, all of us in the office, and Owen very quietly took himself off to another room, sat down, put his headphones on, and FINALLY wrote his final entry for the cover story. It was so peaceful. For context, I’d been begging him to write it for over a week, but there was a lot going on. I had a quick check to make sure he hadn’t just gone home and found him alone at a table, big headphones on, concentration etched into his face, smoke pouring from his fingers as they battered the laptop keyboard at 200mph. All the good stuff happens the day before print.
Dave Blackhurst—Chief (only) Subeditor
According to Sartre (I know, I know), we are our choices, and, in that vein, here are my three favourites from Mundial #23. First up is Jake Hanrahan’s account of being embedded with the anti-fascist HKK ultras fighting for Ukraine against Putin’s invading forces, a piece I’ve reread many times and will, no doubt, read many more times in the future.
On a lighter note, the image of a Liverpool fan in a clinch with Divock Origi, seemingly on the verge of going in with his tongue, is priceless. Last but not least, hats off to Alex Mertekis for the magazine’s stunning design. Forza Mundial.
In the words of English electronic music stalwarts, Metronomy, it’s good to be back. For a long time, we thought MUNDIAL as a magazine was dead, deceased, spun off its mortal coil, an ex-parrot, but then there was Paolo, and now there is Zinedine, and we are hitting our stride again. There are lots of great things about the new magazine, some sublime writing—the J.League list a particular highlight, what a talent that boy is—and fantastic imagery. My favourite thing about it, however, is we are doing all the stuff we always wanted to. We are changing paper stock and sending stickers out with the copies for the real heads, doing launch events, and creating short films to launch a product that’s our pride and joy. It’s good to be back, because we’re not just back, we are better and bigger than ever.
And here's the thing going to print...
Order your copy of Issue 23 by clicking here. We appreciate your support.