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Manchester United’s Michael Carrick says depression led to England exile

Manchester United’s Michael Carrick says depression led to England exile

Michael Carrick has revealed he asked not to be picked for Englanda after becoming “depressed” on international duty.

The Manchester United midfielder has played 34 times for his country, the last in a friendly against Spain in November 2015, but said his experience at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa left a lasting impression.

Carrick told BBC2’s Premier League Show: “I’d been in the squad a long time and 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 or whatever and coming back, but going with England, it was almost depressing in a way.

“It made me really down, so I came to the point after South Africa where I thought: ‘I can’t do that again.’ People would be saying: ‘Pull yourself together and be grateful for it’ and I understood the position I was in, the privileged position I was in, but I just found it so hard and I couldn’t deal with it any more.

“I was probably on the verge of … yes, I was depressed at times, yes. I told the FA: ‘Look, please don’t pick me.’”

The 36-year-old intends to retire as a player at the end of the season, when he will join the coaching staff at Old Trafford.