Favorites Edit

Former Manchester United star reveals he suffered from depression for two years

669   //    10 Oct 2018, 18:06 IST

Manchester United side posing for a photograph before the 2008-09 UCL final against Barcelona
Manchester United side posing for a photograph before the 2008-09 UCL final against Barcelona

What's the story?

Michael Carrick joined Manchester United back in 2006 and was one of the club's most loyal players thereafter. The Englishman spent 12 long seasons at the club, winning a total of 18 major trophies with the club, including 5 Premier League titles and 1 UEFA Champions League title.

The 37-year-old decided to call time on his career at the end of last season, and subsequently joined the club's first team coaching staff.

Now, in a candid interview, Carrick has made a stunning revelation, stating that he was battling depression for a span of two years, following Manchester United's defeat against Barcelona in the final of the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League.

According to Carrick, he remained depressed right until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

In case you didn't know...

In the 2008-09 season, Manchester United made it to the final of the Champions League after defeating Arsenal over two legs in the semi-final. Coming up against Barcelona in the all-important final, United failed to replicate their season's form and eventually succumbed 2-0 to Barcelona as Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi found the net.

The heart of the matter

Speaking to The Times (via BBC), Carrick said that he blamed himself for the defeat in the 2009 Champions League final after giving the ball away in the play that led to Barcelona's first goal.

"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."

Carrick also added that while some family members knew about his situation, nobody truly knew the extent of his mental suffering.

"I kept it to myself most of the time. Even my family didn't know the full extent of it," he says.
"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."

The Englishman said that it lasted for quite some time, eventually ending only at the World Cup in South Africa.

"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,"

Video: The game that caused Carrick's depression

What's next?

Carrick is now an assistant coach at Manchester United and might see his role develop into something more substantial, at least temporarily, should the club decide to move past Jose Mourinho.