Since FourFourTwo magazine launched in the UK 17 years ago, it has grown to encompass 17 global editions, but the Australian version has become the first to utilise the burgeoning appeal of the women’s game by leading with Australia’s female football team, the Matildas.

Five Matildas – Melissa Barbieri, Sam Kerr, Kyah Simon, Thea Slatyer, Sarah Walsh – adorn the July 2011 issue of Australian FourFourTwo magazine, out today. The team takes to the pitch for the Women’s World Cup in Germany in late June and Australian FourFourTwo has dedicated both its cover and 12 pages of the magazine to interviewing the team ahead of the big kick-off.

“I used to think being in the same magazine with the likes of Beckham on the front cover was pretty special. Now I’m on the front cover!” said Matildas captain Barbieri.

Slatyer said: “To sport our new kit on the front cover of FourFourTwo, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Likewise, Simon was filled with pride when told the news. “It is amazing women’s football is starting to get recognised and it couldn’t be better than on a worldwide football magazine like FourFourTwo.”

“I think it’s brilliant what the guys at Australian FourFourTwo have done,” added Walsh. “Having female footballers on the front cover is something the public will appreciate. It’s a huge statement and coincides with the growth of the sport with females.”

There is also the chance to choose your cover this month - the Matildas or the rising stars of world football!

Better still, if you have an iPad you get the whole issue, plus the exclusive iPad extras, for completely free! Thanks to a partnership with Renault we are offering iPad owners this off gift. We anticipate the iPad version will be available later today.

The July issue also features the rising stars of world football, including Wilshere, Neymar and Balotelli; the five Aussie stars under 20, with Kerem Bulut and Matt Ryan interviews; we are in Berlin with Nikita Rukavytsya; 30 Maddest Refereeing Moments; Che Guevara - the football playing revolutionist; plus the regular Up Front, Planet Football and Performance sections.