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Carrick keen to play for England after World Cup

The Manchester United midfielder, 32, looked to have retired from international football in May 2012 before being recalled by Roy Hodgson in August of the same year.

Carrick enjoyed arguably his best season in 2012/13 and is desperate to help England qualify for Brazil 2014, with Hodgson's side sitting second to Montenegro in UEFA's Group H.

And he may play for England beyond the World Cup should they make it, inspired by the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

"The World Cup is the next big opportunity, a massive opportunity," Carrick said.

"But in terms of it being my last one, I wouldn't say so. I haven't thought this is my last one. You never know what's round the corner.

"You look at them (Giggs and Scholes) and they are the perfect example. I'm not saying I could do what they've done because it's extreme.

"Even Rio (Ferdinand), people were saying two or three years ago he wasn't far off finishing and were questioning him, but he's kept going and is still as strong as ever.

"You can find a way with experience of managing yourself and getting the best out of yourself in the later years."

Carrick's refusal to be a bit-part player for England led to a mix-up about his retirement but he insists it was not him demanding a place.

Alongside Steven Gerrard, Carrick appears to be Hodgson's preferred starting central midfielder.

"I didn't say I'd come back expecting to start. That's not my character at all," Carrick said.

"It was just something I wanted to do, and give it a crack, and have a fair crack, and hopefully my performance would get me in or not and that's how it's proved."

England face Moldova at Wembley on Friday before travelling to the Ukraine on Tuesday and Carrick said they were crucial matches for his team.

"It is an opportunity. The home games are vital for us to put performances on and come away with the points we want," the 32-year-old said.

"It will give us a great start to the week.

"We will reassess after that. Two wins would be ideal. Hopefully we can get them. If not, we will reassess after that."