Exclusive: Michael Carrick Q&A | Manchester United


The 2008 Champions League final, stepping up to take that penalty, which you scored, what was going through your head? Did you know where you were going to put it? 
“I knew where I was going to put it but it’s the most awful feeling in the world. Unless you’re the ultra-confident, super-arrogant type, full of self-belief, I don’t see how you can enjoy that moment. You’re thinking that there’s so much to lose. But I knew where I was going to put it. That was my favourite one, my most natural one. So I thought I should just go with what I know best. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t praying that he’d dive the wrong way, and luckily he did. But so many great players have missed in that situation over the years. It can happen to anyone and you just pray it doesn’t happen to you.”

Ronaldo missed straight after you…
“That’s what I mean, and he’s missed other ones as well. I think he’s missed one for Madrid in shootouts. That’s how it is and that’s how unfortunate it can be at times. I wanted to get it out of the way really; I wanted to be second or third and do it early. I didn’t fancy going to number four or five. Once it was out of the way the relief was immense, knowing I’d done what I could do. I still didn’t enjoy the rest of it, mind you, until the end. But at the end, wow, what a feeling when Edwin saved that penalty.”

How long was that walk?
“I jogged. I couldn’t walk. I thought ‘the longer I have to think about this, the worse it’s going to get’. I’ve always jogged in shootouts, as soon as the one in front of me has gone I’ve thought about getting it over as quick as I can because the longer you think, the more that goes through your head and it can spiral pretty quickly. So, I got there as a quick as I could and took it as well as I could.”

It’s pretty much 15 years you’ve been up here. You’ve had plenty of highs and not too many lows. Do you look at it now and think we are right on our way back to where we want to be?
“There’s certainly a really good feeling in and amongst the players and the staff, and in the club. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves as we’ve not achieved anything yet. We’re not getting carried away, but there is certainly a nice connection about the place. We’re trying to do things in the right way. Ole has come in and he’s doing everything in the right way for the club. He’s talking about the whole club and the fans, and what it means, to have a connection with everyone. I think that’s quite powerful as it builds. I think that gets you through tough patches as well, which we’ve had to deal with. But if you do it for the right reasons and you mean well, and there’s progression, then hopefully that means more. Hopefully we can carry on with the progression we’ve been on. I’ve always felt, even when we had those runs last year and they weren’t easy to deal with, I always thought we’d be alright, and time will tell if that pans out. At the moment, I’m excited with what’s ahead.”

We always ask ex-players when they come on for a six-a-side team of players they played with at United…
“Rio went in goal once, so I’m saying Rio can play half-and-half. I apologise to David and Edwin, but I want an outfielder. I’m going Rio, Scholesy, Giggsy, Wazza, Ronaldo… I’ll go all from the past then so that I’m not putting anyone in from the current team – I’m not leaving anyone out then. I’ll put myself in as a sixth. I’ll be like a centre-back. I had to cover for Rio enough as it was, so I’ll let him go in goal!”

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