Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Jurgen Klinsmann, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franz Beckenbauer and Didier Drogba; all of these stars feature in’s line-up of exclusive interviews from the past 12 months.

Click on the link on the right to see all our interviews from 2009.

One of the first to give us his testimony was Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who agreed to answer questions submitted by our readers. “There are always further goals to achieve,” the 33-year-old assured us. Nine months later, he was a Copa Libertadores champion and a finalist at the FIFA Club World Cup.

In one of the most candid interviews of the year, Mexico defender Rafael Marquez took the opportunity to open up his heart and defend himself amid the controversy that had engulfed the national team for the month of March. “It’s unfair to just blame me. I’m not the only one responsible for the situation. Mexico will be in South Africa, have no doubt about it,” he promised confidently.

In April Iker Casillas diagnosed his side’s recent lack of European success: ”Real Madrid lack competitive players in order to really compete in Europe,” he told us, without realising that within a few months he would be sharing a dressing room with players of the stature of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Among the coaches we spoke to, Luiz Felipe Scolari announced his desire to end his career in Brazil, while Carlos Parreira predicted a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup™, for Bafana Bafana next June.

As that date looms ever closer, it is impossible to forget Didier Drogba’s stark warning to opponents: “Watch out for Côte d'Ivoire.” Other luminaries to offer their words of wisdom to users were giants of the German game: Lothar Matthaeus, Jurgen Kilnsmann and Franz Beckenbauer.

Lionel Messi and Marta, crowned FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA Women’s World Player respectively at the Gala in December, were also on hand to give us their impressions on another dream year.

2009 also saw secure an exclusive face-to-face interview with Diego Armando Maradona. Speaking to us for the first time, El Diez shared his thoughts about Argentina’s troubled qualification campaign, his special rivalry with Brazil and Pele, his new challenge at the head of the Albiceleste and his desire to hold up the FIFA World Cup trophy next year.

If you enjoyed these interviews, get ready for more in 2010 as we continue to bring you the words of the stars in our regular 'Interview of the Week' section.