Football

Giggs: Carrick is crucial 
for United

Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs believes Michael Carrick has an important part to play for Jose Mourinho's side next season.

The ex-England midfielder, who turns 36 next month, has just signed a year-long extension to the contract, which was due to expire, to keep him at Old Trafford for another campaign - his 12th at the club.

Carrick made 38 appearances this season - only eight of which were as a substitute - with 23 starts in the English Premier League.

Giggs, who played for United until he was 40, believes his former teammate's experience will be vital in the coming 12 months.

"Michael just makes players around him play better," said the Welshman.

"He's got that calming influence that you can see on and off the pitch, it's a pleasure to play with him.

"When you play with players, you want to trust them when they have the ball and Michael is one of those players.

ROONEY'S FAREWELL?

"When he is on the pitch, you can trust him. He always makes the right decision."

Carrick marked 11 years at United with a testimonial on Sunday to benefit his charitable foundation in front of 70,027 fans.

United's 2008 XI side took on a Carrick All-Stars XI and the veteran midfielder scored the equaliser eight minutes from time in a 2-2 draw.

While he will be around for another 12 months, fans may have witnessed Wayne Rooney's final appearance in a Red Devils shirt.

United's all-time leading scorer, who has fallen out of favour with Mourinho and appears destined to leave this summer, played the entire first half and the final 17 minutes of the second.

Having flown back from a family holiday in Barbados to play in the friendly, it was perhaps indicative of his current situation that he did not particularly stand out in the company of a host of long-retired ex-professionals.

At the final whistle, he gave a quick wave to fans before heading down the tunnel. - PA SPORT

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