Why Michael Carrick begged the FA to not pick him for England after 2010 World Cup

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As the curtains start to come down on Michael Carrick's professional career, it's worth remembering just how special a midfielder he was during his prime.

Carrick will retire at the end of the season following two years at Tottenham and 12 trophy-laden seasons at Manchester United, where he's set to become a first-team coach.

What made the Englishman such a good player was the consistency and the simplicity of his play. Very rarely did Carrick have a bad game for United, nor did he ever try to be glamourous.

Instead, Carrick spent his time on the pitch protecting the defence, retrieving the ball and then showing the composure to retain it.

In 480 Premier League appearances Carrick has only scored 24 goals and provided 40 assists, but every team needs a stable and disciplined midfielder and that's exactly what he was for United.

However, while Carrick was cherished at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, that wasn't necessarily the case for the England national team.

In an international career that spanned 17 years - he still hasn't technically retired from England - the 36-year-old only ever made 34 appearances.


His worst moment for England arguably came at the 2010 World Cup, when then-manager Fabio Capello included him in his squad for South Africa but didn't play him once.

Not featuring for a single minute must have been hard for Carrick, who has now revealed how he begged the FA to not pick him for future England squads when they returned home.


But it wasn't because he doubted his ability or because Capello hadn't played him, but because he struggled with depression on international duty and couldn't handle it anymore.

"I had been in the squad a long time, I'll be honest I was finding it hard going away with England,' the 36-year-old told BBC2's Premier League Show, per the Daily Mail.

"I didn't mind going away with United in pre-season for three weeks or whatever and then coming back but going with England it was almost depressing in a way - it made me really down.

Italy v England - International Friendly

"I came to the point where I thought I can't do that again and people will be saying pull yourself together and be grateful for it.

"I understood the position I was in, the privileged position I was in, but I just found it so hard and I couldn't deal with it anymore.

"I was depressed at times. I told the FA, 'Look please don't pick me.'"

Such a sad story. Carrick has always come across as the model professional, yet even he had his demons and perhaps that's what really hindered his England career.

Premier League
Manchester United
England Football
Michael Carrick
Alex Ferguson

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