Ferguson: Carrick was destined for Manchester United greatness

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The Reds Devils' legendary former boss has joined Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in hailing the midfielder's career ahead of his testimonial on Sunday

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has explained why Michael Carrick's character made him "a certainty" to enjoy great success at the club.

The 35-year-old is to be honoured for his 11 years at United with a testimonial match at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Carrick has won a succession of trophies since signing from Tottenham in 2006, including five Premier Leagues, three EFL Cups, the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League, which United lifted only last month.

Carrick as irreplaceable as ever

Ferguson says the Northumberland native's willingness to join the West Ham academy at the age of 16 indicated his desire to fashion a successful career at the highest level.

"One of the things that stuck out to me when we were profiling him and preparing to make a bid was that as a young boy, 16 years of age, he left home to play for West Ham," Ferguson said, as quoted by United's official website .

"That tells you that the boy had the confidence that he was going to make it. A 16-year-old kid from Newcastle going to east London, that's a trek, and it impressed me.

"From the minute we bought Michael in 2006, his character has always been outstanding. He's a football man and that character, coupled with his ability, made him a certainty to be a big success at United."

Former team-mate Paul Scholes described Carrick as a "Rolls Royce" due to his cool approach to the game.

"I remember Michael coming in and taking over the number 16 shirt from Roy Keane, one of the Premier League's best-ever midfielders. He had big boots to fill, but I think he's proven that he's more than worthy of the shirt," said Scholes.

"I always felt comfortable and safe next to him, and he probably didn't get the credit he deserved at the time, but he's starting to get that now.

"When Michael plays, United usually win, and I like that there's nothing flashy about him. He never broke a sweat, either! He was like a Rolls Royce, just cruising around the football pitch."

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Fellow United great Ryan Giggs added: "Playing both with Michael and against him, you realise what a great player he is. You would give him the ball and could trust him with it, he'd always make the right pass and he had that calming influence both on and off the pitch.

"I think ever since Michael joined the club, United have been winning trophies – he's been a special player and fully deserves his testimonial."

Carrick will play in a team comprising stars from the 2007-08 Premier League and Champions League-winning side, managed by Ferguson, against an all-star XI led by former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.

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