Home » Jose Mourinho pays special tribute to Michael Carrick at ‘Player of the Year’ awards ceremony

Jose Mourinho pays special tribute to Michael Carrick at ‘Player of the Year’ awards ceremony

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho paid a special tribute to Michael Carrick at Manchester United’s annual ‘Player of the Year’ awards ceremony on Tuesday night.

The 36-year-old has spent 12 seasons at Man United, arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006, and won 12 major trophies in the process.

Carrick is set retire as a player in a few weeks having struggled for minutes this season and will join Mourinho’s coaching staff for the 2018/19 campaign.

And Mourinho, upon duly handing the Englishman his coaching jersey at the awards ceremony, stressed that it was difficult to see a player of Carrick’s stature hang up his boots.

“I have to admit that one of the most difficult things in my 18 years as a manager is when a big player is leaving, it is always very sad,” he said.

“So this time we try to do it in a way where I am not sad. A big player is leaving but a big man is staying.

“There is a space for him and we will welcome him with open arms but, before that, we still want Michael to play and then the next day give his boots to his kids.”

There were a couple of other unexpected light hearted gifts from Mourinho as well: a whistle and, of course, some good old advil to help with those headaches.


They do not make players like Carrick anymore. The very fact that this country of all countries produced a footballer with such eloquence, such fluidity and vision, such remarkable footballing intelligence is something of a miracle. That it produced Paul Scholes is an even bigger marvel.

And the fact that we as United fans got to see both players play for our club for so many years, winning everything possible in the process, is nothing short of a blessing from above.

Carrick absolutely deserves to be mentioned in that same bracket. He is a player whose qualities as a player and as a person shone through the club like a guiding light for so many years, often going unnoticed in the process.

The only place he could imaginably go after playing for United is straight to the dugout. Mourinho deserves immense praise for making that happen.

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