Player of the day: Micah Richards
Today’s Player of the Day is the Manchester City and Team GB defender Micah Richards. Richards was an integral part of City’s 2010-11 FA Cup and 2011-12 Premier League success having signed for the club as a 14 year old.
Richards was born 24th June 1988 in Birmingham but grew up in Leeds. He played for the Leeds United youth system as a striker but was released. He later played for the Oldham Athletic youth system before moving to Manchester City aged 14. Richards made his first team debut for City on 22nd October 2005 coming on against Arsenal and was given his full debut on 12th February 2006 against Charlton Athletic. Since his first start Richards hasn’t really looked back and has become a key figure at the club playing in the majority of their matches. He was named the club’s Youth Player of the Year for the 2005-06 season. Richards came to national prominence when his 94th minute headed goal from a Joey Barton cross in a FA Cup fixture against Aston Villa subsequently gained City a replay.
Despite various transfer rumours linking Richards away from Manchester with clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, Micah has stayed loyal to City and has been a key member of the Manchester City team since his first team debut. He was a part of the squad which won City their first trophy in over 30 years when they won the FA Cup in 2011 and was also part of the squad which dramatically won the Premier League on the last day of the 2011-12 season thanks to a Sergio Aguero strike.
In November 2006, Richards received a call-up to the England squad for a friendly against the Netherlands after playing only 28 professional club matches. When he was chosen to start the game, due to an injury to Gary Neville, Richards became England’s youngest ever defender breaking the record previously held by Rio Ferdinand. He scored his first international goal in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel in 2007. His appearances for England were limited when Fabio Capello took charge of the team and despite his impressive form for Manchester City was controversially left out of the England squad for the Euro 2012.
However on 28th June 2012, Richards was confirmed as one of the three over-aged players selected for Great Britain to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games alongside Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs. Richards will be play a large part in the team and will have to be on form if Team GB are to achieve any kind of medal success and has already stated what an honour it is to be part of the Olympics.
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