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Totally Frank My Autobiography PDF

Totally Frank My Autobiography PDF

IT’S a long walk. Those who have done it say it can be a harrowing
experience just making your way to the penalty spot in a shootout situation. I
know how tortuous it is. The second you break from the arms of your team-
mates and take the first step you are very much alone, wondering where the
journey will end.
For a footballer, there can be few trips in life as significant as the 60-
metre path towards a moment that will remain with you as long as you live –
like the walk down the aisle to be married or a sombre march to say a final
goodbye to a loved one who has died. In those circumstances, though, at least
you know what to expect.
The long walk to take a penalty invokes a similar intensity of emotion
but without a pre-determined outcome. It’s the World Cup quarter-final and
the hopes of your family, friends, and team-mates, never mind those of a
nation, weigh on your shoulders as you propel yourself towards destiny.
I can hear the cheers of the England fans as they try to encourage me –
doing their best to ignore the nerves which make their voices tremble
slightly. I focus my gaze on the white rectangle ahead. Not such a hard target.
Twenty-four hours earlier I practised for this moment in the Gelsenkirchen
Arena. Bang, goal. Bang, goal. Bang, goal. Bang, goal. Four from four after
training. I knew what to do.
Back at the hotel I watched a DVD of the Portugal keeper Ricardo in
action to discover his method of dealing with a penalty. However, his actions
were too chaotic to act as a guide so it was a case of choosing a corner and
steering it in. I had done this for Chelsea and England many times before.
Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Camp Nou. Kick taken, goal scored.
I had been in exactly the same position two years earlier, in the Estadio
da Luz, Lisbon, and at the same stage of the competition in Euro 2004.
Portugal again. Ricardo again. Same long walk to the penalty area and same
pressure. Bang, goal. I knew what to do.

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