Sir Alex Ferguson to manage side in Michael Carrick's testimonial

Sir Alex Ferguson to return to management... for one night only
By Tom Bennett via PA Sport

20/03/2017 at 16:25Updated 20/03/2017 at 17:28

Sir Alex Ferguson is to return to the Old Trafford dugout for Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick's testimonial this summer.

Ferguson, who retired in 2013 after 27 years at the United helm, will take charge of one of the teams at the June 4 match.

The Scot's side will be a Manchester United 2008 XI comprising of players in his Premier League and Champions League-winning squad of that year.

Their opponents will be a Michael Carrick All-Star XI led by another of the player's former managers, Harry Redknapp.

Carrick, 35, who has spent the past 11 years at United, said in a promotional video:

" I'm honoured that he's going to come back and be part of the game. He's probably the sole reason I came to the club and I can't thank him enough. He's been a huge influence on my career, learned so much from him and he's the man who probably taught me to win."

Among the high-profile players who have agreed to take part are Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for United, and Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen for the All Stars.

Our View:

Michael Carrick has rarely got the respect he's deserved for an unbelievable career, but you just have to look at the names who are already signed up for his summer testimonial to know that his impact has not gone unnoticed by his fellow pros.

Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand celebrate Manchester United's Premier League title (Reuters)

Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand celebrate Manchester United's Premier League title (Reuters)Eurosport

Carrick was already an excellent footballer when he moved to Manchester from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006, but he developed into one of the best holding midfielders in the world over the course of the next decade.

He was the stable base for the United team who won three straight Premier League titles after his arrival and held together central midfield while Paul Scholes took the plaudits.

Later in his United career Carrick has been the unsung hero of the squad, often providing the only real stability in team largely devoid of defensive solidity, playing arguably the most important part in Ferguson's final title in 2012-13.

It's a damning indictment of English football's mentality that he only has 34 England caps. Carrick should have been at the base of that England midfield for most of his career.

But his club success will more than make up for that disappointment and Carrick will depart the game, when he leaves, with the appropriate level of respect from his peers - if not the wider footballing world.