Tribute to Michael Carrick: Premier League legends reunite for midfielder’s testimonial

Michael Carrick"Hard to believe it's not Scholes, it's Carrick you know!"

One of the most underrated midfielders in English football, Michael Carrick has been awarded a testimonial match at Old Trafford on Sunday 4 June. Having served 11 years of his stellar career at Manchester United, it was richly-deserved and the entire United family are happy for him. The Reds vice captain joined from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2006 and is United’s second longest-serving current player after Wayne Rooney.

Carrick held a press conference on Thursday to announce the Old Trafford testimonial, a fundraising fixture that will pit a United 2008 XI against an all-star side personally selected by the midfielder himself.

From winning his first Premier League title in his debut season in 2006/07 to helping the Reds lift the EFL Cup as recently as last weekend, the 35-year-old has won 16 trophies in total – five Premier Leagues, a Champions League, an FA Cup, the Club World Cup, two League Cups and six Community Shields.

Orchestrating the attack and solidating the defense, Carrick has always been a calm composed customer providing balance in midfield whenever called upon. It is not a coincidence that co-players and managers are in awe of his performances for the club for more than a decade now.

The midfielder has decided to reunite Manchester United’s double winning side from the 2007-08 season keeping in mind the fact that the game falls only a week after the regular season finishes. The likes of veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and members of the Class of ’92, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs will all be in the United line-up. Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and former United striker Michael Owen are among those already confirmed for the All-Stars team.

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Speaking to the press on Thursday, Carrick said:

“I’m immensely proud to be granted the testimonial and very thankful to the club.

This date [4 June] was given and having it at the end of the season meant that it would have been difficult to get a full, current Manchester United squad playing against another team.

So I had the idea of bringing the old 2008 team back together again and it’s just taken off from there. It [2008] is certainly my most special moment.”

The money raised from the testimonial will be distributed to charities through the newly-created Michael Carrick Foundation which will aid the development of children under the age of 16 in both Manchester and Newcastle, where Carrick grew up as a kid.

“Once the club came to me about the testimonial, my first thought was that I want the proceeds to go to charity – that was a no-brainer,” he said.

However, when asked upon the identity of the gaffer for the event, Carrick had this to say:

“I’m holding back the manager’s identity for now. I know who it is but I’m not telling you.”

Manchester United fans would love to see Sir Alex Ferguson back at the dugout at Old Trafford. The likes of Vidic, Evra, Nani, Tevez, Berbatov and Cristiano Ronaldo could also feature in this match.

Only time will tell if we see the Manchester United of old, for one night at least.