London (AFP) – Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed he brought his international career to a premature end because tournament duty with England was making him “depressed.”
Despite winning 18 trophies in 12 years at United, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008, Carrick was often overlooked at international level.
He won 34 caps in a 14-year international career between 2001 and 2015, but only played one game at a major tournament and said his experience at the South Africa World Cup in 2010 left a lasting negative effect.
“I was finding it hard going away with England. I didn’t mind going away with United on pre-season for the three weeks or whatever but going away with England it was almost depressing in a way, it made me really down,” Carrick told the BBC’s Premier League Show.
“It came to a point after South Africa I thought I can’t do that again. People will say ‘pull yourself together and be grateful for it’.
“I understood 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 please don’t pick me.”
Carrick, 36, has signalled his intention to retire at the end of the season and is expected to join Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff at Old Trafford.