Micah Richards still blames Scott Carson for losing him £1 million
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Micah Richards still blames ex-England teammate Scott Carson for a goalkeeping error that lost him £1 million in bonuses.
The former Man City and Aston Villa defender, who made 13 appearances for the Three Lions between 2006 and 2012, opened up about the "terrible" incident during a recent podcast appearance.
Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast with Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, Richards recalled the infamous 3-2 defeat to Croatia at a ran-soaked Wembley, when England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
"All we needed was a draw and we'd have qualified for the Euros," he recalls. "It's as simple as that."
Things, however, were far from simple. Steve McClaren's side went 1-0 down in the early stages after Scott Carson fumbled Niko Kranjcar's shot into the net, before Ivica Olic made it two with 14 minutes played.
Goals from Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch levelled the score but a 25-yard strike from Mladen Petric meant England had failed to qualify in a result that was labelled the worst in their history.
In fact, 16 years later, Richards called it the worst feeling he had as a player – and later explained how the defeat cost him £1 million.
After Lineker reminded Richards of Carson's goalkeeping error, Richards replied: "The team we had that day...we didn't have Rio [Ferdinand] or John Terry. It was a mixed bag team. Beckham was on the bench as well. It was just all over the place. But we thought we could get a draw."
Richards added: "I think my player rating after that game, at best, was a two. BUT I blame Scott Carson. I blame him. I'm sorry. He's at Man City now, taking all the accolades, winning the treble, picking up medal after medal. And he cost me a million quid. He cost me a million pounds!
"...that was my bonus. If I got to the Euros and earned enough appearances for England, I'd have got more money on my contract at Manchester City."
Steve McClaren was later sacked after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Back in 2020, the former Middlesbrough manager opened up about that defeat to Croatia and the impact that had on his life.
"I remember after that England game [vs Croatia], talking to him [psychologist] and saying: 'How the hell do I come out of this in one piece?" he told Sky Sports.
"Because I didn't feel like leaving the house, the bedroom, engaging with people. I didn't feel like any of that.
"'He just said: 'Look, go in a cave, lock yourself in for a week, 10 days, however long, write down the experience, what you've learnt - good and bad - get it on paper, close the book, then get out there and get back on the horse and get back into management.
"If I didn't have someone telling me that, I wouldn't have done it. And I did that, got back on to the horse and came out of that."
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