An American magazine that goes in studs-up on most of its British counterparts. Howler mixes a surprisingly serious tone with loads of easy-on-the-eyes infographics and illustration, making for a pretty enjoyable overall package. A solid effort from our trans-Atlantic chums, said Mr Hyde in the most patronising way possible.
Highest-brow article: Match report from war-torn Ukraine, dwelling on the country’s socio-political climate.
Mundial is a magazine put together with no small amount of love, and it shows on every page. Created by a bunch of mates in their spare time, it manages to celebrate football’s past without ever resorting to beige-coloured “wasn’t everything better back then” grumbling. This may be down to the fact that all of Mundial’s staff appear to be hopelessly obsessed with trainers and streetwear. As a result the restorative glow of youth culture hangs over the whole enterprise.
Highest-brow article: Illustrated guide to the current state of the stadiums used in the Italia 90 tournament.
Founded by soccer’s arch-intellect Jonathan Wilson, The Blizzard is a place where the great and the good of football journalism can really cut loose and show their class, unrestricted by trifling concerns such as word count and vaguely accessible subject matter. If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at the Economist or dismissed any BBC Four documentary as “facile”, this might be the football magazine for you.
Highest-brow article: Take your pick. Class warfare at Bolton FC. The “Maltese mindset” of Tony Pulis. World War I and the offside rule. The decline of the inverted wing-back in a post-capitalist context (part two).
This has a bit of everything. The splashy showmanship of Howler. A touch of Blizzard’s intellectualism. A shared love with Mundial of football’s material side. Eight by Eight might look like the sort of colourful object you could distract a two-year-old with on a long-haul flight but within its OTT exterior lurks an informed, articulate soul. Some of the best footie writers in the world hang out on Eight by Eight’s masthead. We just wish it was easier to find in the shops.
Highest-brow article: Prolonged (and persuasive) comparison of Jose Mourinho to Captain Beefheart.
Industry secret klaxon! Professional football players are a nightmare to photograph. The results are invariably about as inspiring as that time Craig Levein set up his Scotland side with six midfielders and no strikers. Green Soccer Journal, which is sort of a fashion-football magazine mutant, is the one publication that seems to know how to get the most out of its cover stars, routinely convincing them to do more than just glare at the camera in a Nike top.
Highest-brow article: Nothing egg-headed per se, but the 20-page moody photo retrospective of the Brazil World Cup is as arty as you like.
Vibrant and full of personality, pulsing with fresh ideas both global and obscure – interviews with the likes of Andrea Pirlo feature alongside the story of lower-league maverick Robin Friday – and has the bulky gravitas of a coffee-table book with none of the airport-lounge fustiness, thanks largely to charming photography.
Highest-brow article: a scholarly interview with Zidane.
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