Revisiting Carrick's Manchester United career

Michael Carrick will hang up his boots on Sunday when he leads out Manchester United against Watford on Sunday.

Revisiting Carrick's Manchester United career

Michael Carrick, who enjoyed a long, successful career at Manchester United, will play his last game for the club against Watford on Sunday.

The 36-year-old midfielder will retire from professional football to bring an end to a 12-year playing career at Old Trafford.

Carrick was signed by former manager Alex Ferguson from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 to replace the departed captain Roy Keane in central midfield. The Tyneside-born footballer even took over Keane's shirt number 16.

While Carrick's approach to the role was a far cry from Keane's hard-tackling style, he brought in a sense of calm and assured presence while United had possession. The Englishman's primary role in the side was to shield the back-four in defence, and distributing the ball to the forwards in turnover.

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick   -  Getty Images

 

In his first season at the club, United managed to wrestle back the Premier League title from Chelsea, thereby ending a three-year run without the championship. Next season, he won the league and the Champions League double, stepping up to score in the penalty shoot-out against Chelsea in the final.

Though, not known for his goal-scoring, Carrick has popped in with some timely goals, including a spectacular brace in a must-win Champions League knock-out tie against AS Roma and a dramatic, late winner at Wigan during the 2008-09 season which pulled United closer to the title.

He went on to start in both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals against Barcelona, but ended on the losing side on both occasions.

Further, he played major role in three more domestic title-winning campaigns, with the last one coming in 2013 in what turned out to be Ferguson's final season. His team-mates voted him to be the club's players' player of the year for his contribution during the season.

Michael Carrick Manchester United fact-file

Matches: 463

Goals: 24

Trophies won: Premier League (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13); Champions League (2007-08); Europa League (2016-17); FA Cup (2015-16); League Cup (2008-09, 2009-10, 2016-17); Club World Cup (2008)

Interestingly, under Ferguson, Carrick remained a slow-starter in each season while entering the first-team fray only in the month of September or October, with the manager quoted as saying, "you (Carrick) don't play well until it starts raining". From there on, the midfielder would go onto marshal the side until the end of the season.

After the departure of Wayne Rooney to Everton at the start of last season, Carrick was named as the club captain by manager Jose Mourinho but has found playing time hard to come by. After retirement, the former England midfielder will join Mourinho's coaching staff.

Carrick will end with 12 major honours to his name.