Michael Carrick on Barcelona: The former Manchester United midfielder shared about his sufferings after the defeat to Barca in 2009 Champions League final.
Michael Carrick retired after the end of 2017/18 season as one of the most decorated midfielders for Manchester United in this century. The Englishman, who was often overlooked by managers in the national side throughout his career, played a key role in the midfield for Manchester United for many years.
Carrick won a Champions League title with Manchester United in 2008, and won five Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford. He also reached the Champions League final on three different occasions.
However, in the two other finals, Manchester United faced Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, and were unable to defeat them.
The English midfielder has now opened up on recovering from depression after one such Champions League final loss to Barca in 2009.
Carrick on Barcelona:
Manchester United reached the Champions League final in 2009 and had a chance to retain the title. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side defeated Chelsea in the famous all-English final of Europe’s premier continental tournament in 2008. However, in 2009, United faced Barcelona, who were arguably the strongest club side football had seen in many years.
Barcelona’s quartet of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets proved too hot to handle for Manchester United, as the Catalan club cruised past a battered United side 2-0.
Extract from new Carrick autobiography – talks about pain of losing 2009 CL final and how it affected him for so long. pic.twitter.com/2YsJ4xCACe
— James (@writtenoff_mufc) October 9, 2018
“It was my dream to be at a World Cup but the truth is I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be at home,” said Michael Carrick in an interview with Times, as he reflected on the loss.
“I beat myself up over that goal. I kept asking myself: ‘Why did I do that?’ And then it [the depression] snowballed from there. It was a tough year after that. It lingered for a long time.
“I had won the Champions League the year before, but that was totally irrelevant. It felt like I was depressed. I was really down. I imagine that is what depression is.
“I describe it as depression because it wasn’t a one-off thing. I felt bad or terrible after some games, but then you get over it in the next couple of days, but that one I just couldn’t shrug off. It was a strange feeling.”
Michael Carrick revealed that even when his family members knew about his struggles, no one knew about the extent at which he was dealing with his mental health issues after the loss.
“Depression over a game of football sounds extreme, doesn’t it? But I genuinely felt in a very dark place. It might sound a crazy exaggeration comparing football to a death but after Rome I felt like I was grieving. Rome defeated me.”
— UnitedReview (@TheUtdReview) October 9, 2018
“It’s not something that’s really spoken about in football. I have not spoken about it before. For the lads that I have played with that are reading this, this will be the first time that they know [about the depression]. They wouldn’t know.”
Michael Carrick is currently the assistant coach at Manchester United, and is working alongside Jose Mourinho.