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13 Juli 2008

Carrick To Take Ronaldo's Penalty Duties?

Carrick opened the scoring in United’s 2-0 win over Aberdeen at the weekend, stroking home from 12 yards after Wayne Rooney was hauled down in the area. Ronaldo is usually the designated penalty taker, but the Portuguese winger was absent after recently undergoing surgery on a foot problem that troubled him throughout EURO 2008. The position may soon be up for grabs full-time, however, should Ronaldo fulfil his childhood dream of moving to Real Madrid, who have been relentless in their pursuit of the 23-year-old. And Carrick insisted he would be thrilled to take the reins as United’s spot-kick king: “It’s always nice to score and get off the mark and I’m more than happy to get on the penalties. I’ll take a few more of them if they become available!” The England international is not renowned for his contribution on the score-sheet but has nonetheless become a vital cog in the United machine over the past two seasons. Although oft maligned by press and public alike, the former Tottenham man has forged a highly effective partnership with Paul Scholes in central midfield despite strong competition from Owen Hargreaves and Anderson. Now with three medals under his belt since moving to Old Trafford, the 26-year-old is eager to begin the new campaign after an unusually lengthy off-season. “The season seems to have come around pretty quick but it’s the longest break I have had for a number of years,” Carrick said in The Sun. “So it’s nice to come back and start all over again. “We have to earn it all again and we know it’s going to be a long, hard season, but we’re ready for the challenge.”