Manchester United stalwart Michael Carrick has announced he will call time on his playing career at the end of the campaign – after 19 years as a professional footballer.
The 36-year-old midfielder is a product of West Ham’s famed academy and made his first-team debut in 1999 before being snapped up by London rivals Tottenham in 2004.
Carrick was on the move again two seasons later when Manchester United forked out £14 million to acquire his signature – and it proved money well spent as he contributed to their dominance at the start of the millennium.
The former England international won five Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup on three occasions during his time at Old Trafford.
However, Carrick has been limited to just four appearances in all competitions this term due to an irregular heart rhythm that saw him undergo a procedure to treat the problem.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s Champions League visit of Sevilla, he said: “There comes a time when as much as you don’t like it, it’s time to stop playing football. That’s pretty much where I am at.
Carrick: “There comes a time when your body tells you it is time to stop. That is where I am at.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 12, 2018
“I had a problem in the Burton game it started in the second half, had a few tests and the same problem came back on the Sunday of that week. I had a procedure the following week.
“I’m totally fine now, took a bit of time to get over. For two or three days I was thinking am going to carry on playing is it worth it but that passed and I got fit.
“I wanted to finish on my own terms so I was determined to get back fit.”