Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed his struggles with mental health led to him almost quitting football.
In his autobiography, ‘Between the Lines’, Carrick reveals United’s 2009 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in Rome left him in a dark place and was the catalyst for his year-long battle with depression.
Carrick suffered in silence, admitting even his family were unaware of the extent to his struggles which left him wishing to leave the England camp during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I just almost had enough of football,” the United first-team coach told Sky Sports News.
“It sounds crazy for me to even say that, but at the time that’s how I felt. It’s a bit of a long story of that year, how the little things got worse and then I beat myself up for feeling that way because I’ve got everything I could hope for.
“I was playing at a great club, playing in the England squad, two happy kids, wife – it was as good as I could possibly hope for.
“I wasn’t enjoying playing for England, I didn’t want to go away with England and I was having a hard time at United – I was playing awfully. That drives it because everything I gave was to be as good as I possibly could for United.
“When I was dropping off it affected me. I’d coped with it for three years and then it was like something just gave. I struggled for that year and then suddenly I came back, something clicked at the start of the season and I felt brand new again, even better than I had felt before.
“It was a strange year for me but it was tough. Hopefully it gives people the insight into playing at the top level.
“I can sit here and talk about it now, I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve got no clear reason why I got to that stage, it was just a lot of little things and in the end my football suffered for it and I suffered for it.”
Tottenham and England left-back Danny Rose, speaking ahead of the World Cup in Russia, opened up about his own mental-health issues triggered by a long injury lay-off and family tragedy.
“The fact that some like Danny Rose came out quite recently and said it, that wasn’t a factor in me (putting in the book), but it’s great that he feels he can come out and be honest like he has,” Carrick told Press Association Sport.
“I’ve just felt more comfortable waiting until I’ve finished and putting it down like I have into the book. That’s just how I’ve dealt with it.
“The book is more of what I’ve gone through and how I’ve seen it rather than maybe what’s seen from the outside and what’s been won, and what game we’ve played well and what game we haven’t.
“This is a massive part of my journey, really, and what I went through. It was never a decision ‘shall I put that in, shall I not put it in?’ or ‘am I comfortable or not?’
“I am totally comfortable with it and that’s how it was, you know?
“Maybe I could have dealt with it better at the time or spoke to someone and it might not have gone on for so long or so bad.
“You can easily look back on all sorts of things and do it differently, but that’s just how it was.”
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