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BARCELONA

Mourinho: "We'll all be crying for Messi when he's 34"

The Manchester United coach was using the example of Barcelona star Lionel Messi to emphasise how much the club will miss the "phenomenal" Michael Carrick when he decides to call it a day.

Mourinho: "We'll all be crying for Messi when he's 34"
Alberto Estévez EFE

It’s not often that you hear Michael Carrick being compared to Lionel Messi, but that’s exactly what happened at Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United press conference on Friday.

The United coach wasn’t exactly weighing up the 35-year old midfielder’s talents next to Messi’s, however, as no matter much you rate Michael Carrick, there’s only ever going to be one winner there.

Mournho instead was using the example of the Barcelona superstar to make a point about Carrick’s age.

Irreplaceable 

While many United fans have been calling for the former Spurs man to replace Marouane Fellaini in central midfield recently, Mou was keen to point out that with Carrick now nearing retirement, he can’t play every game and equally emphasised how much the club will miss him when he does finally decide to hang up his boots.

"In five years time, Messi will be 34 and we will all be crying that he is 34," Mourinho joked. "Michael is very difficult to replace.

Carrick (r) and Messi (middle) with Wayne Rooney

Phenomenal 

Mourinho added: “He is phenomenal. I have to manage him. I cannot expect from him what I expect from Rashford and Herrera. When he’s on the pitch he gives us important things. Stability in our game, mental freedom to the other guys.

“He’s not just a player he is someone who has a big understanding of the game and it’s a pity you sometimes cannot stop the clock."