LONDON — A former footballer once confided to me that after his retirement he and his wife decided to go on the dream holiday they had never been able to take while he was a leading international.

The problem was, he had no idea how to go about booking the vacation. While he was playing everything — almost literally — had been arranged by his club. Travel, hotels, tickets, visas, passport, insurance . . . all the things that most people in the non-football world do every year without too many problems.

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