Michael Carrick Asked To Be Excused From England Squad For Impact On Mental Health

Becky Banham
By Becky Banham,
updated on Apr 20, 2018

Michael Carrick Asked To Be Excused From England Squad For Impact On Mental Health

Carrick reveals battle with depression during international duty

Michael Carrick won 34 senior caps for his country but, in an interview for BBC Sport’s Premier League Show on 19th April, he admitted that his experience at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa wasn’t a positive one.

Gabby Logan asked Carrick about the World Cup tour and what his thinking was during that time. "That World Cup was your only World Cup in the end. And, the boy that wanted to play in a World Cup final and score the winning goal eventually would decide to make himself unavailable for international selection," she said.

"I just found it so hard and I couldn’t deal with it anymore."

The Manchester United midfielder revealed, "I had been in the squad a long time. I’ll be honest, I was finding it hard going away with England. I didn’t mind going away with United pre-season for three weeks and then coming back, but going away with England was almost depressing in a way."

The then-manager, Fabio Capello, had included Carrick in the 2010 squad for South Africa but didn't play him once. Not playing for a single minute, understandably, caused a strain on Carrick’s mental wellbeing.

He told Logan how he asked the Football Association not to select him for the England national team, following the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa - on the grounds it made him "depressed at times" and he couldn’t put himself through the emotional and mental strain again.


Although many people have applauded Carrick's honesty this week, he revealed that this was not the case at the time of his struggles. He spoke of how the general reaction was one of "pull yourself together and be grateful," on account of his privileged position and career path.

Carrick last month announced his intention to retire from Premiership football at the end of the current season, following 12 trophy-laden seasons at Manchester United. He is set to take a permanent place on the coaching staff of at Old Trafford.

He is also focusing on trying to improve child poverty in two areas of the UK he knows well - Wallsend, where he grew up, and Old Trafford, his second home. The Michael Carrick Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of young people; tackling poor living conditions, inadequate diet and risk of turning to a life of crime.

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