TOUR NEWS & FEATURES

23/01/2013 09:38, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Mikael: Tours are unique

Mikael Silvestre has labelled going on tour with Manchester United as a "very unique experience."

The ex-defender, who has spent the last few months training with the squad at Carrington as he searches for a new club, enjoyed trips to America, Asia and South Africa during his time as a Red.

Silvestre says the reception the team receive from fans wherever they go in the world is something that never fails to amaze the players and, while the tours are challenging from a fitness and travel perspective, he insists they're always memorable.

"It's a very unique experience because every few days we discover a new place and a new city," he told ManUtd.com. "Going on tour can be like being a rock star sometimes – they have concerts whereas we have games, but it's the same kind of situation where you're in one city one day and then the next you’re gone and you set up somewhere else. And the reaction we get can be similar to big stars!

"That's the thing that really stands out for me about the tours - the warm welcome and great reception we always get wherever we go. The United States is a bit quieter but other places we’ve been to like Asia and South Africa are always amazing when it comes to the amount of fans we have there and how excited they are to see us.

"You can look at figures for how big the fanbase is especially in Asia, but you don’t actually realise how big it is until you experience it. You need bodyguards everywhere you go! It’s a bit daunting at first, but it’s also a nice feeling to known how popular the club is."

While the tours have become increasingly bigger and busier with off-the-field activities and visits involving club sponsors, ultimately the trips are about preparing the players for the campaign ahead.

"You get your fitness base for the whole season during pre-season," says Silvestre.

"The most challenging thing about the tour is probably the jetlag and fitness work, and the heat and humidity can be tough. In places like Asia it can be 80 per cent humidity and

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