For 723 games—the second-most played in Liverpool history behind Ian Callaghan, by the way—Jamie Carragher has been a solid presence in defense and a classy individual off the pitch.
So it's no surprise that he showed a whole lot of class in his decision to retire as well, a move that Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has publicly lauded.
From Mike Whalley of ESPN:
Carragher stated that he had decided to announce his retirement now in order to save manager Brendan Rodgers and other club staff from having to answer questions about his future plans.
Ayre told Liverpool's website: "It speaks volumes about Jamie's selfless nature that even the manner of this announcement is putting the team and the club before himself. It's what he's done throughout his entire career.
"He told me he didn't want the manager or myself fending off questions regarding his future when he had already made his decision. Jamie's focus, like ours, is on finishing the season as strongly as possible.
In his career with Liverpool, Carragher has won three league titles, two FA Cups and the 2005 Champions League. Carragher also has 38 caps for England in his career.
Ayre noted that the club may look to keep him involved in some capacity upon his retirement, so he likely will remain a Red for years to come—just not on the pitch.
The decision certainly makes sense. Carragher's contract is up after this season, and at 35, his best football is behind him. But you have to love that there was a certain level of selflessness to the timing of his decision.
Liverpool has a shot, albeit probably an outside one, at qualifying for the Champions League this season. The team made smart additions during the January transfer window and looks to really be clicking under manager Brendan Rodgers.
So the last thing Liverpool needs is a distraction. And Carragher won't be providing one.
Well done, Mr. Carragher. You will go down in Liverpool lore as a lifetime Red and a solid contributor to the cause.
But more importantly, you'll be remembered as a class act.
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