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Name Micah Richards
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc Over a year younger than Trent Alexander-Arnold when he made his England debut, Micah Richards burst onto the international scene as an 18-year-old in 2006

Affiliation

Org England National Team
Club as Player Manchester City

2013 11 05 Retrieve

[Micah Richards on Paul Scholes] He’s always in the right position, always seems to be at the end of the box when the ball drops in. The complete midfielder – when he’s fit, he’s the best. Some go missing but he’s in the right place at the right time. He’s my favourite player of all-time, unbelievable. If you give him a chance it’s a goal, isn’t it?

2014 09 20 Retrieve

[Micah Richards on his famous 2011 bust-up with Mario Balotelli during a Manchester City training session] Mario is crazy, but one of the nicest guys ever. We were playing five-a-side and losing because Mario, being Mario, wasn’t tracking his runner. I was like, ‘Mario… track your man.’ But you know what he’s like. He started swearing in Italian and waving his hands. I said, ‘Mario I’m not in the mood today’. I lost my head, he lost his, and it was just bonkers. My favourite Mario story is when he went into the school to speak to the bully. He just does what he wants, doesn’t he?

2016 01 30 Retrieve

[Micah Richards revealed him and former Manchester City team-mate Mario Balotelli became embroiled in a confrontation on the training pitch] We were playing five-a-side and we were losing because he [Mario Balotelli] didn’t work, which is evident. He swore at me in Italian and he thought I didn’t understand. But I know a bit of Italian lingo so I said, ‘Who’re you talking to?’ He said it again so we squared up and I offered him out, but he said no

2019 09 07 Retrieve

[Micah Richards told he believes Cristiano Ronaldo was the world’s top player last season] I think Ronaldo is the best this year because what he did for his country was amazing, He and Messi are unbelievable; Van Dijk also was good but what Messi and Ronaldo are doing is amazing

2020 01 25 Retrieve

[Micah Richards writes about the FA Cup] I won the Premier League and played for England but it seems everyone always remembers me best for swearing live on BBC One on a Sunday afternoon

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[England’s Youngest Debutants XI] I burst onto the scene. I played for England at 18, youngest ever defender to play for England. I would say that’s bursting onto the scene!

2020 04 30 Retrieve

[Micah Richards says Mourinho and Mancini tried but Guardiola might have taken to Balotelli] Pep would probably like him. Pep is obviously passionate and some people can see it as over-the-top but he just genuinely loves football and Mario genuinely loves football as well, so he actually might have taken to him. But Pep’s such a perfectionist on the field, if Mario wasn’t hitting the heights that we all know he could, they might not see eye-to-eye. You see [Raheem] Sterling scoring a hat-trick or winning man of the match and Pep’s shouting at him on the pitch - talking about what he could do better or why hasn’t he done this. I don’t think Mario would react the best to that. But on a more human level I think they’d get on because they’re two top blokes

There was a lot of people who didn’t really like him because he was Mancini’s favourite. He could get away with more stuff than other players and he always still managed to start or come on or whatever. But Mario, as a person, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It’s just he does crazy things. I’m still in contact with him and he will always be one of my favourites. I just wish he could have shown more on the pitch because he’s genuinely one of the best players I’ve played with in terms of ability, shooting, technique - he’s absolutely incredible. I understood what Mancini and all the other coaches saw in him. At the time, we had Balotelli, [Edin] Dzeko, [Sergio] Aguero and [Carlos] Tevez. Look at that front line. I just wish he could have stayed longer because you know a lot of people were throwing stones at him and some of it was rightly so for sure, but there was more to him than people saw and he was a genuinely nice person off the field

[One notorious incident that enraged Mancini was in a pre-season friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011. Balotelli was clean through midway through the first half when he pirouetted on the ball and tried to backheel a goal - only to put his attempt wide] I asked Mario about it and he said: ‘I’m telling you now. I heard a whistle’. Even if he did hear a whistle or not, we were like: ‘Just score anyway’. But he was adamant that he heard a whistle so he stopped. But you never know with Mario because it fitted in with the rest of his antics. But I prefer the story that he was trying to take the mickey, it’s a better story. People might think he has wasted his talent away but it’s not the case. He’s been at some top clubs, Inter as a young one, Man City, and Milan - when he went back there he was unbelievable in that season. It’s not by luck how good he is. People say his attitude and his antics are not great but behind the scenes he works harder than most professionals I’ve ever worked with. When he went to Liverpool, a lot of people were questioning the signing. I was just like: ‘Come on Mario, this is the time to show people why you’re Super Mario’, but obviously, it didn’t work out

2020 05 01 Retrieve

[Richards says Man City players overlooked for individual awards] Every time a City player has been up for it, someone’s just pipped them but that season Yaya should have won it 100 per cent. I don’t think people are necessarily being bad to City when they don’t pick them, I just feel subconsciously other teams might think they’ve had all this investment and expect this to happen anyway. You could run through the team from Joe Hart, when he was on flames, Vincent Kompany, [Pablo] Zabaleta, Yaya, [David] Silva, [Sergio] Aguero - all of them could have won player of the year. But I think because we have had so much talent in the squad, that people just expect us to be that good. Like [Kevin] De Bruyne this season. I do believe it’s got to go to a Liverpool player because of how much they are winning the league by. But then City broke the points record and didn’t win it, so maybe De Bruyne could win it instead of [Sadio] Mane or [Virgil] Van Dijk

He was coming from one of the biggest clubs in the world so we were welcoming him to the side. He’d played in the [2009] Champions League final [win over Manchester United] as a centre-half so we didn’t know what exactly he was. But after the first training session I was like: ‘Wow’. People just think he’s all power and pace but he has the technique of David Silva but could run as fast and as strong as me. When he came as a defensive midfielder we already had Nigel de Jong so I didn’t know if we needed him to do that role. But he has everything. Silva’s probably my all-time favourite City player but Yaya had more strings to his bow

We knew how important he was to our team because he’s a player that as soon as he turns it on, nobody in the world can deal with him. He’s a big part of our team, and if he leaves us for a month we could lose some vital games. I remember [after a defeat at] Everton when Yaya was away, Mancini nearly caused World War III in our dressing room. He said to us: ‘You can’t do without Yaya’. The dressing room erupted. I’ve never seen anything like it before, we all wanted to fight Mancini. After we settled down, he said: ‘I said that on purpose because I knew I would get that reaction. And how you have reacted now is exactly how I want you to react every single week on the pitch’. From that point on I thought we were going to win the league, no matter what obstacles were put in front of us, we were going to win it.

2020 05 13 Retrieve

[The story of Man City’s first Premier League title] I was out for five days in a row. I’m not a big drinker. But I probably had two hours’ sleep per night. I was drinking absolutely everything because I just couldn’t believe it

No disrespect to them, Yaya and Silva - they were always going to win something. But when you’re a young player coming through the youth team at 14, to win a Premier League … you just can’t describe it. It was absolutely incredible. I was out with my mates. I remember a couple years before Man Utd and Rio [Ferdinand] and all of them were walking around with their Premier League medals. So I went out that night, and I made sure I had my Premier League medal for everyone to see.

[Richards believed the glamour and excitement of the pre-season tour to Los Angeles 10 months earlier helped bring them together and set them up for the first title] I think it all started when we were in LA. We just had a tight-knit group from then on. Normally in pre-season you’re in not the best of places and all the time after training, you just want to go back to the room and relax - watch some films or whatever. But because we were in Los Angeles, we were venturing out and got closer as a group. That really helped us to go and win the Premier League. It helped obviously that we won the FA Cup the year before, but we believed in each other even more from that pre-season because we got to know each other more as people not just on the pitch

[City boss Roberto Mancini was hugely superstitious. The Italian is also religious, praying that City would win the title the night before and had prayer beads in his suit pocket at the Etihad Stadium. But that did not stop him shouting an unholy Fck you! Fck you! at his players when they fell 2-1 behind to 10-man QPR] Everyone’s seen that clip of him swearing at every one!. Everything had been going so right and he’s waiting for just one moment against a team, which we should be battering probably 6 or 7-0. We had something like 20 corners in that game, and we couldn’t hit the target. So everyone was just like ‘we’ve lost the game’. I felt that on the bench when I was there. I was like: ‘I can’t believe this. Is this going be typical old City again?’ Everything was in slow motion

2020 05 28 Retrieve

[Micah Richards on Mario Balotelli] Mario, as a person, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It’s just he does crazy things. But I’m still in contact with him and he will always be one of my favourites. I just wish he could have shown more on the pitch because he’s genuinely one of the best players I’ve played with in terms of ability, shooting, technique – he’s absolutely incredible

2020 07 03 Retrieve

[Kevin De Bruyne was the star as Manchester City thrashed Liverpool] I am running out of superlatives to talk about him. He just affects every game that he plays. He was the best player on the pitch again

2020 07 03b Retrieve

[Premier League champions Liverpool were brought back down to earth as they were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium] People keep saying Foden is one for the future, but he is one for the present