Michael Carrick confirmed earlier this week that he will retire from professional football at the end of the season.
The Manchester United midfielder, 36, will bring the curtain down on his glittering 19-year career before moving into coaching.
Carrick is expected to take up United’s offer of a first-team coaching role after admitting: "There comes a time when your body tells you it is time to stop. That is where I am at.”
Carrick’s decision to retire comes just months after he was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm, which has restricted him to just four appearances this season.
"After the heart issue, I had two or three days thinking 'am I going to carry on?' I got back fit and wanted to finish on my own terms,” he added, per BBC Sport. "I need to keep myself fit and ready. Hopefully I can get some game time and I am still enjoying training. I am trying to help a lot more because I understand where I am at."
Carrick retires having won a host of major honours at United, including five Premier League titles, three League Cups, one FA Cup and, of course, one UEFA Champions League.
Manchester United fans would argue that Carrick has never received the credit that his talent deserved but there’s no doubt that his teammates and opponents appreciate what a fine footballer he was at his peak.
Crouch: Why Carrick is a special type of character
Reacting to the news of Carrick’s retirement is the midfielder’s former England teammate Peter Crouch.
Crouch, writing in his latest Daily Mail column, believes it takes a special type of player to spend so long at a great club like Manchester United.
“Michael Carrick has announced that he will retire at the end of the season and I hope that people will recognise what a great career he has enjoyed,” Crouch said.
“And it has been a great career. He has got all the medals to show for his efforts — a full set of domestic honours to go with both the Champions League and Europa League — but what has marked him out as being different is the time he spent at Manchester United.
“Michael signed for them in 2006 and it takes a special type of character to last that long at a club where there is so much pressure and expectation.
“I got three years at Liverpool and would have loved more, but for him to get 12 at Old Trafford highlights his mentality and ability. I started playing with Michael for England's Under 18s and we progressed together all through to the seniors.”
Crouch gives his honest opinion about Carrick's ability
Crouch also believes that Carrick was right up there with the best passers, just behind the likes of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, and is still surprised that he failed to make more international appearances for England.
“The best passers of a ball I played with were Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso but, on his day, Michael wasn't far behind them,” he added.
“He got 34 England caps and was unlucky not to win more.
“He is a clever footballer, one who you rarely see out of position. He was always calm in possession and had an ability to be in the right place at the right time; that helped dictate the pace of games.
“He understands football and I have absolutely no doubt he will be a manager in the future.”
Indeed, Carrick appears to possess the intelligence and mentality to become a top coach over the coming years.
He will have his chance to cut his teeth in the world of coaching at Old Trafford next season but may need to leave the Red Devils, like Ryan Giggs did following Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2016, to become a head coach.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms