Former Man Utd and Spurs star Michael Carrick says he nearly quit football due to mental health problems
Manchester United legend Michael Carrick has opened up about the depression he suffered during his playing career.
The former England international has revealed that his mental health struggles made him consider retiring from football.
Carrick address his battle with depression in his new autobiography, which is one of the year’s most hotly anticipated football books.
He revealed that United’s Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2009 and a drop in his form had sparked a year-long depressive episode that stayed with him until after the 2010 World Cup.
Carrick says his illness left him desperate to leave the England camp in South Africa, but even his family were unaware of how he was feeling.
The 37-year-old, who is now a first-team coach at United told Sky Sports News: “I just almost had enough of football.
“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.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United midfielder said he felt more comfortable waiting until the end of his playing career before addressing his mental health struggles publicly.