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Michael Carrick

Carrick: It's time for me to stop playing

Manchester United captain Michael Carrick has confirmed he will retire at the end of the season and explained the reason behind his decision.

Jose Mourinho had already suggested the 36-year-old will hang up his boots at the end of May, calling time on a marvellous playing career, and the midfielder has now clarified that is true

Carrick is to be offered a place on the manager's coaching staff and, during the UEFA Champions League press conference on Tuesday, he admitted that is a “likely” option at the moment.

Asked if he is set to retire at the end of the season, Carrick told reporters at Old Trafford: “I think it's pretty much already been said, to be honest with you. There comes a time when, as much as you like or don't like it, your body tells you it's time to stop playing football. That's pretty much where I'm at, which is fine. It's something you have to accept. That's where I'm at.”

Quizzed on the prospect of joining Mourinho’s coaching staff, Michael continued: “Yes. It's kind of been sorted out. We're still talking about it, to be honest, so there's nothing totally confirmed as yet. But it's looking likely, yes.”

Michael recently featured against boyhood club Newcastle and admits it was an emotional day for his family
The classy playmaker arrived at United from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2006 and was awarded a testimonial last year, in recognition of his magnificent service to the Reds. 

Although the end of his illustrious playing career is in sight, Carrick still hopes to play a part in the run-in after recovering fully from a heart problem earlier this season.

“Obviously, I had the problem in the Burton game when it started during the second half, and then had a few tests after that,”
he said.
“The same problem came back on the Sunday of that week in training, so then I had the procedure the following week and now it's totally fine and I'm clear. It took a little bit of time to get over but there were some times when I was thinking 'am I going to carry on playing or not?' or 'is it kind of worth it or not?' but that quickly passed.

“I got back fit and I wanted to finish on my own terms really. At least I could decide and not be forced because of that, so I was determined to get back fit. I understood after getting back fit that I wouldn't be playing as many games as perhaps I might have done, but that's something that I understood. I've just been training hard and trying to keep fit and have managed to play a few games so far and we'll see what happens towards the end of the season.”
To conclude, Carrick was asked how he’d like to be remembered as a player and, in typical fashion, he delivered an answer that was all about the team. 

“In terms of being remembered, I think it's just as someone who tried to do things the right way, trying to work for the team and being known as a team player is important. I can look at it and think I've given it my best, I've tried all sorts of different things to bring the best out of me over the years and I can say that I've given my best. So I can look back with no regrets.”