EXCLUSIVE: Come back Carrick! United man handed England return months after he snubbed Roy
10:03 GMT, 10 August 2012
Michael Carrick has sensationally been returned to the England squad despite ruling himself out of international contention before the European Championships.
England play Italy on August 15 in Switzerland, their first match since the Azzurri knocked Roy Hodgson's men out of Euro 2012 on penalties.
The Manchester United midfielder first withdrew from selection for Fabio Capello’s squad in January, having not played a single minute at the World Cup two years ago.
England expects: Michael Carrick has been handed a return to the England squad by Roy Hodgson
Long-awaited: Carrick hasn't played for this country for more than two years
Carrick was then overlooked by new boss
Hodgson before this summer's Euros in Poland and Ukraine, even after
injury ruled out Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard.
The 31-year-old earned the first of
his 22 caps 11 years ago, while his most recent appearance for his
country came at Wembley in May 2012 in the friendly win over Mexico.
Carrick, who has won four Premier
League titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford, insisted he
refused to be considered by Hodgson because he was unlikely to feature in any of the matches at Euro 2012.
Speaking in June, he remained hopeful of a return to the international fold.
Asked if he would play for England again, Carrick said: 'Yeah, I would consider it definitely. It wasn’t a case of me turning my back on my country or quitting.
'I didn't kick the door down and say “you've got to play me or I’ll leave”. It was more a case of I wasn’t going to play, then I’d rather not go with England.
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'If you’re not playing at my age, especially under Capello, then it’s not worth it. That was my decision. Some people have said it was more “play me or I’ll quit” but it was nothing at all like that.
'I haven’t said this before but during the last World Cup I never featured and I was never really close to playing. At my age, it was a hard time. I just didn’t feel part of it.
'So I thought if it was going to be the same scenario this time, I’d rather let someone else go in my place.
'It was a huge decision but in many ways the decision was made for me. It’s a game of opinions and Capello wanted to play a certain way. It was just a case of “fair enough, if that’s your opinion, then I’d rather not go”.
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'The bigger deal was the two injuries to other midfielders (Lampard and Barry) before the Euros. But that’s just how it goes.
'But I’ve had no contact from Roy Hodgson, so it would be wrong of me at this stage to make a decision either way.'
The other news from Hodgson's squad
is that John Terry, Ashley Cole, Joleon Lescott and Glen Johnson will all be left out with the manager keen to give shadow players and some
youngsters the chance to impress.
Leighton Baines, Phil Jones and Gary
Cahill are among those likely to start, while there is a place for John
Ruddy, who missed the Euros due to an injury picked up after the first