Michael Carrick Reveals How Champions League Final Loss Caused Depression

Michael Carrick has revealed that Manchester United's 2009 Champions League final loss to Barcelona, and his involvement in the first goal of the game, led him to fall into depression.

For most of us football is the escape from real lives, the thing we love that takes us away from our stresses. For footballers though it's completely the opposite as there is no escape into football. It means that mistakes they make can play on their minds for a long time.

Michael Carrick may have won everything there is to win with Manchester United, including the Champions League, but it was the 2009 final loss to Barcelona that he concentrated most on.

Speaking in an interview with The Times the United coach told how he felt himself spiralling for about a year following the loss:

"It was the biggest low of my career by quite some way and I don't really know why. I thought I'd let myself down in the biggest game of my career. I had won the Champions League the year before, but that was totally irrelevant.

"It felt like I was depressed. I was really down. I imagine that is what depression is.

"I describe it as depression because it wasn't a one-off thing. I felt bad or terrible after some games, but then you get over it in the next couple of days, but that one I just couldn't shrug off. It was a strange feeling."

Carrick's reaction to Eto'o's opener. Image: PA Images
Carrick's reaction to Eto'o's opener. Image: PA Images

United had started the stronger in Rome and Cristiano Ronaldo did have a chance to put the Red Devils ahead. Instead Barca took the lead through Eto'o, following an error from Carrick:

"I beat myself up over that goal," said Carrick.

"I kept asking myself: 'why did I do that?' and then it [the depression] snowballed from there. It was a tough year after that. It lingered for a long time."

Carrick is consoled by Pep Guardiola at full time. Image: PA Images
Carrick is consoled by Pep Guardiola at full time. Image: PA Images

Carrick also revealed that the feelings lasted around two years and didn't really speak to anyone about it, adding, "I kept it to myself most of the time. Even my family didn't know the full extent of it.

"It's not something that's really spoken about in football. I have not spoken about it before. For the lads that I have played with that are reading this, this will be the first time that they know [about the depression]. They wouldn't know."

Carrick's tale is still one that doesn't get told often by top level sportsmen, even if it is becoming more and more the norm. The 37 year old should be applauded for coming forward and admitting what he went through.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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