Liverpool FC: Jamie Carragher Set to Retire at Season's End

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Liverpool FC: Jamie Carragher Set  to Retire at Season's End
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Jamier Carragher retires

Veteran Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has announced that he is to retire from professional football at the end of the 2012/13 season.

The 35-year-old leaves the game as a true “one-club man” having played his entire career for Liverpool FC.

On the timing of the announcement, Carragher revealed that he wanted neither club nor the manager to be his mouthpiece: "I'm making this announcement now because I don't want the manager or the club to be answering questions on my future when I've already decided what I am going to do."

In a career spanning 16 years, Carragher will leave the club having won all major honours save one. Namely, the English Premier League title. And with Liverpool lying at seventh in the table, Carragher’s dream of laying his hands on one of the most coveted trophies will remain just that.

Carragher also hopes that his announcement would put to rest any and all speculation surrounding his future.

He declined from adding any further to his statement—released on the club website—citing his commitment to stay focussed and in the process help Liverpool back into the Champions League places before his playing career winds down.

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I won't be making any further comment on this decision until the end of the season; all our focus and concentration should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this season and trying to win the last remaining trophy we are competing in.

The Bootle-born defender occupies the second position, behind Ian Callaghan, in the list of all-time appearances for the club.

Jamie Carragher’s major honours won at Liverpool include the historic 2005 UEFA Champions League triumph over AC Milan at Istanbul. Carragher had put in seemingly the best performance of his career during the final thwarting, notably, Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko from scoring on more than one occasion with game-changing tackles.

The native Scouser has also won the League Cup on three occasions, the FA Cup twice and one UEFA Cup, won during the treble winning season under Gerard Houllier.

It was the Houllier era that shot Jamie Carragher into the limelight even as he made his senior bow under former manager Roy Evans two seasons prior.

The arrival of the Spaniard, Rafa Benitez, helped the transition of Carragher from his earlier role as a utility player—being shifted between the right-back and defensive midfielder positions—and allowed him to establish himself as the first-choice centre-half for Liverpool.

Benitez's defensive wisdom impressed me the most. It was a step up from what I'd enjoyed before. He's brought the best out of me and transformed me into a defender of European pedigree. I played the finest football of my career under Rafa.

Truly legendary

The legendary former Brazilian national skipper and right back Cafu once went on record stating that Carragher when he plays is the heartbeat of the team, even more so than Steven Gerrard.

Carragher is world-class. He is the heart of their team, even more so than Steven Gerrard because a team’s strength comes from the defence.

It is not easy when you are asked to play in different positions. You are sacrificed for the team and that happened to Carragher.

The influence that Jamie Carragher’s presence brought to the dressing room, as a player first and then as a leader, would certainly be missing when the veteran finally hangs up his boots.

However, expect the club hierarchy to grant the club legend a working role behind the scenes at the club immediately following on from his retirement.

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