During a brilliant afternoon in the company of Michael Carrick, he took us inside some of the high-pressure situations elite footballers experience and the rest of us can only imagine. Like showing up for your first training sessions at Manchester United and taking on the Class of 92 in The Box, the make-or-break exercise where the ruling cabal at Old Trafford would test the mettle of the rest. Or the long yards between the centre circle and the penalty spot before you take a penalty in the Champions League final (I don't think I've ever heard a better description of that particular ordeal). Or the feeling when you've been hit and you're out of ammo and you're screaming for a fellow soldier to help you as the enemy approach and Sir Alex Ferguson is wondering what all the commotion is about. Honestly, it'll all make sense when you get there.
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