Michael Carrick (born 28 July 1981) is an English professional footballer who plays for Manchester United and the England national team. He is vice-captain of Manchester United. Carrick primarily plays as a central midfielder, but he has been used as an emergency centre-back under Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. At the time of his move to Manchester United, distinctive features of his play included his inventive distribution of the ball along with his passing and crossing abilities.

Carrick began his career at West Ham United, joining the youth team in 1997 and winning the FA Youth Cup two years later. He was sent on loan twice during his debut season, to Swindon Town and Birmingham City, before securing a place in the first team by the 2000–01 season. He experienced relegation in the 2002–03 season and was voted into the PFA First Division Team of the Year in the following campaign. He made more than 150 appearances for the Hammers, but in 2004, he moved to rival London club Tottenham Hotspur for a fee believed to be £3.5 million. He scored twice in 75 appearances, before moving to Manchester United in 2006 for £18 million.

From his debut onwards he was a regular in the Manchester United first team, making more than 50 appearances in his first season with them. He established himself as a key member of the team that won the Premier League in 2006–07, their first title success in four years. The following season he was part of the side that won the 2008 Champions League final, playing the full 120 minutes as they enjoyed a 6–5 penalty shootout win, with Carrick converting his spot kick, to help achieve the European Double.

He enjoyed a third consecutive title triumph in the 2008–09 campaign, but was unable to prevent a Champions League final defeat to Barcelona. He won his first League Cup medal in 2010, but, for the first time during his Manchester United career, he missed out on another title success as they finished runners-up to Chelsea. Since then though, he has won two further league championships and three FA Community Shields. In 2016, Carrick won the FA Cup to complete his collection of every domestic honour in the English game.

Despite playing as a deep-lying midfielder, Carrick does not rely on pace, physical attributes and tackling like a typical ball-winning midfielder. Instead, his reading of the game helps him anticipate any attacking threats from the opposition team, most of the time by covering space and making interceptions.

Carrick has represented England at under-18, under-21, B and senior levels. He made his England debut in 2001 and has since gained 31 caps but has yet to score an international goal. Carrick has often been overlooked during his England career, with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Gareth Barry and for a brief time Scott Parker preferred in his position. This was the case until the 2012–13 season, when Carrick established himself as a regular. He has been a member of the England squads for two major tournaments, the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

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