“As a defender you have to feel: where is the danger? Which space do you have to cover?” he says. “Also, how to anticipate the movement from the striker, especially in the box.” He finishes his masterclass with some words of advice for any young defender looking to improve their game. “First of all, enjoy defending, enjoy pushing yourself, enjoy improving,” he says. “Then it’s about focus and desire.”

There’s lots more from Rapha in the compelling interview, which you can only read first and in full in the magazine.

Elsewhere in the issue, there is more exclusive content from Christian Eriksen and United Women’s Maya Le Tissier, who both give new Q&As. Bruno Fernandes weighs in as well, with the topics of his incredible availability stats and his new Reds penalty record on the agenda.

That pulsating 4-3 win over Liverpool will live long in the memories of all who witnessed it, and the magazine has made sure to document the classic match for posterity. Club photographer Ash Donelon has personally curated a ‘roll’ of 36 images that capture the extraordinary day, from the arrivals at the ground to the jubilant final scenes, and all the action in between.


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