Michael Carrick's top team-mates XI
In a career which spanned 19 years and included spells at West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur before his unveiling at Manchester United in 2006, Michael Carrick achieved all there was to achieve domestically and in Europe.
At international level, the majestic midfielder also won 34 caps for England after making his senior bow for the Three Lions in 2001, but his 12-year stint at Old Trafford means fellow Reds naturally dominate this team of players he shared a dressing room with most often, although there has been some discretion with position and formation taken into account.
Since his retirement in 2018, Carrick has been part of the back-room team at United, working under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Interestingly, there is one name who forms part of our select XI who did not represent Sir Alex Ferguson's side...
David De Gea (186 games with Carrick)
Although David didn't arrive at Old Trafford until five years after the midfielder, our Spaniard in-between the sticks lined up alongside Carrick 186 times. The duo's first appearance on the pitch together was our thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City in the 2011 Community Shield, which was also David's debut as a Red, and the two would feature together at England's national stadium on five further occasions, winning the 2016 FA Cup and 2017 EFL Cup.
Antonio Valencia (206), Rio Ferdinand (259), Nemanja Vidic (230), Patrice Evra (291)
For the majority of Carrick's United playing career, the midfielder lined up alongside a reasonably settled back four. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra had already signed for the club prior to his arrival, Rio four years earlier while Vidic and Evra arrived the season before. Antonio Valencia would link up with the defensive trio in 2009, although he was originally a winger before moving further back later in his career.
Ferdinand and Carrick were no strangers, with the pair sharing 14 appearances while at West Ham United and both played against Ecuador in the 2006 World Cup. Rio would leave United in 2014 and would go onto spend a season at Queens Park Rangers before hanging up his boots.
With Nemanja partnering Rio, the duo in central-defence reached five finals, including the 2008 Champions League final and the FIFA Club World Cup final. Meanwhile, Antonio continued to play alongside Carrick into the twilight years of his career and would help the Reds lift the FA Cup trophy in 2016 and the EFL Cup a year later.
Patrice Evra sits in second place for most appearances with Carrick, sharing a dressing room on 291 occasions. The Frenchman, who signed from AS Monaco, would leave Old Trafford in 2014 to play for Juventus, before spells at Marseille and West Ham United.
Nani (162), Paul Scholes (160), Darren Fletcher (158), Ryan Giggs (223)
Carrick linked up beside United stalwarts in Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs on 383 separate occasions. The midfield trio all played in Carrick's first competitive match for the Reds, against Charlton Athletic in 2006, alongside Darren Fletcher, who is also represented in this XI.
During Nani's spell at Old Trafford from 2007 to 2014, the flamboyant Portuguese would make 162 appearances as Michael's team-mate, the most for a winger in the Englishman's career.
Carrick's all-time XI Gallery
Take a look at Michael's team, based on which players the midfielder has lined up alongside most often in his career.
Wayne Rooney (366), Jermain Defoe (157)
Lining up as an attacking two are Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe. Rooney played alongside Carrick on 366 occasions, the highest for any team-mate, including 21 appearances together for England.
After leaving United for Everton in 2017, Wazza made the switch to MLS where he spent two campaigns with D.C. United, reaching the play-offs on both occasions. Our record scorer returned to English shores in 2020, however, and would appear against United for his new club, Derby County, in the FA Cup.
With 157 appearances, Jermain Defoe was Carrick's team-mate at West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur. The duo would also appear together for their country on 12 occasions at senior level, although none, interestingly, were at a major tournament.
Following Michael's signing for United, Defoe would play for Portsmouth before returning to Spurs. The veteran striker has also represented Toronto in MLS, Sunderland and is currently playing for Rangers while on-loan from AFC Bournemouth.
CARRICK'S FULL XI:
De Gea; Valencia, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs; Rooney, Defoe.
ON THE BENCH
As mentioned earlier, Carrick's XI was based on team-mates who shared a dressing room with the midfielder the most, but position and formation was also taken into account.
Edwin van der Sar featured alongside Michael on 172 occasions, 14 fewer than De Gea, so narrowly missed out on a spot in the XI. Other potential candidates were mostly in defence with Chris Smalling (163), John O'Shea (133) and Jonny Evans (130) all notable mentions. With 127 appearances, Cristiano Ronaldo was also in the reckoning for a place in midfield.
Stats courtesy of www.transfermarkt.com.
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