Carrick reveals depression led to request for England exile

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The Manchester United midfielder has opened up about the mental struggle he faced when away with the Three Lions at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick admits that he asked not to be selected for England after becoming "depressed" when away with the national team.

The 36-year-old, who is retiring at the end of the season, has played 34 times for his country.

He cites the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as the moment when his love affair with international football ended, revealing he asked the FA to no longer pick him.

Carrick told BBC Two's Premier League Show: "I'd been in the squad a long time and I'll be honest, I was finding it hard going away with England.

"I didn't mind going away with United in pre-season for three weeks and coming back, but going with England, it was almost depressing in a way.

"It made me really down, so I came to the point after South Africa where I thought: 'I can't do that again.' 

"People would be saying: 'Pull yourself together and be grateful for it' and I understood the position I was in, the privileged position I was in, but I just found it so hard and I couldn't deal with it any more.

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"Yes, I was depressed at times, yes. I told the FA: 'Look, please don’t pick me.'"

Carrick made his England debut in 2001 but was rarely a regular for his country.

The last of his international appearances came in 2015 and he is set to bring the curtain down on a glittering career at the climax of the 2017-18 campaign.