Michael Carrick has revealed that he fought depression after the 2009 Champions League final.
Carrick played the full game against Barcelona nine years ago, as Manchester United fell at the last hurdle in their quest to become the first time to successfully defend their Champions League crown.
It should have been the pinnacle of a memorable playing career, but Carrick says his depression âsnowballedâ from the game in Rome.
âIt was the biggest low of my career by quite some way and I donât really know why,â Carrick told The Times.
âI thought Iâd let myself down in the biggest game of my career. I had won the Champions League the year before, but that was totally irrelevant.
âIt felt like I was depressed. I was really down. I imagine that is what depression is.
âI describe it as depression because it wasnât 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 couldnâtÂ shrug off. It was a strange feeling.â
It was Carrickâs mistake that led to Barcelonaâs opening goal, with Andres Iniesta pouncing on a loose header to set up Samuel Etoâo.
âI beat myself up over that goal. I kept asking myself: âwhy did I do that?âÂ and then it snowballed from there. It was a tough year after that. It lingered for a long time.
âAs a footballer, you are expected to be that machine that just churns out results after results, performance after performance. âYou are paid well and you play for a big club, so why canât he be good every week?
âItâs just not like that. Itâs not easy to do that and itâs easy to forget that. There could be all sorts going on that you donâtÂ know about.
âIn 2010, that was the worst time. It was my dream to be at a World Cup but the truth is that I didnât want to be there. I wanted to be at home. I was telling [wife] Lisa: âIâve had enough. I want to come home.â I wouldnâtÂ have done, but thatâs how I felt.
âI kept it to myself most of the time. Even my family didnât know the full extent of it.
âItâs not something thatâs 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. They might say he wasnât playing well, or he wasnât himself, but they wouldnâtÂ know the extent to which the problem was. I just tried to keep it to myself and get through it.â