Jamie Carragher: 10 Reasons to Love the Retired Liverpool Star

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2013

Jamie Carragher: 10 Reasons to Love the Retired Liverpool Star

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    After 737 games, a shelf full of silverware, 195 Premier League clean sheets and 16 years at Liverpool, Jamie Carragher finally hung up his boots after Sunday's Premier League match with QPR.

    The former England defender was given a guard of honour by both teams as he stepped onto the turf at Anfield for the final time, and received a roaring ovation as he was substituted in the 86th minute.

    To put his stay at Liverpool in perspective, Reds debutant Jordan Ibe was 13 months old when Carra made his first appearance.

    Here's 10 reasons to love the retired Liverpool legend.

He's a 1-Club Man

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    In an age where loyalty is easily bought, the concept of a man who plays for one side for his entire career is increasingly rare.

    Along with the likes of Ryan Giggs, Tony Adams, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Francesco Totti, Carragher played every single one of his 16 professional seasons in the same shirt.

    In fact, he was never even linked with a move to another club and said he was never told of any outside interest (via The Sun). 

He Won 9 Major Trophies

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    Sadly, Liverpool never reignited their 1980s league dominance during Carra's career, but the central defender lifted two FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and, of course, the European Cup after an epic night in Istanbul.

    In addition to the big nine, Carra has also won two Community Shields and an FA Youth Cup for the Reds. 

He's Scored More Own Goals Than Goals!

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    Carra can enjoy the rare and dubious honor of owing goals to Liverpool upon retirement: He has scored more times in his own net than in the net of opponents!

    In 737 games, he netted five times at the correct end (four in the league and one in Europe), but scored seven own goals—six in the league and one in the 2006 FA Cup Final (via LFCHistory.net).

    The Liverpudlian has actually scored three goals for Tottenham Hotspur, making him three times as effective as former Spurs striker Helder Postiga!

He Scored an Own Goal Penalty at His Own Testimonial!

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    In his own testimonial match against Everton, Carra put his Liverpool side ahead before cancelling it out by sneakily putting a penalty past his own keeper.

    As a childhood Everton fan, this may have been the fulfilment of a lifelong dream!

    Since it was merely a testimonial, we don't count this against his impressive own-goal tally. 

He Is a Record Breaker

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    Aside from his own-goal record, Carra can boast a string of personal records. He has the second most appearances for Liverpool (behind Ian Callaghan) and was ever-present in the league in two seasons (2004-05 and 2008-09).

    He's the only Liverpool player to feature in 150 European matches, appearing in 44 percent of all their games on the continent.

    He's also the only Reds player to play under six different permanent managers: Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers.

    (Stats: The Daily Mail)

He Doesn't Get Bullied by the Media

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    After announcing his retirement from international football in 2007, talkSPORT radio host Adrian Durham labelled Carra a "bottler" for his decision. Little did he know the player was actually listening at the time, and called in to defend himself.

    Durham and Carragher agreed to disagree on the airwaves, but according to a recent Daily Mail column, the pair settled their differences and became friends afterwards. In fact, they were due to host a 2010 World Cup show together but had to cancel it when Carra came out of retirement!

    Clearly, he doesn't suffer fools gladly, as can be seen in this exchange with Sky's Andy Burton.

He Is Passionate

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    One of the reasons Carragher took such offence to the talkSPORT comments is that he is passionate about the beautiful game.

    One only needs to watch the defender train to see how much he cares—just look how seriously he takes a training match in this video! He's so excited by his free-kick goal being caught on camera that he wants to DVR it when he gets home!

He Is Charitable

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    Carragher has long been credited for setting a fine example in the Liverpool community and in 2009 set up the 23 Foundation.

    The charity is designed to help kids in the Merseyside area to recover from illness or "achieve their dreams" through local community initiatives.

    You can donate to the foundation or buy merchandise whose proceeds go to charity on Carragher's official website

He Loves Liverpool

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    Carragher's 2008 autobiography was controversial for several reasons, including his attitude towards playing for England.

    In the moments after missing a penalty that helped England exit the 2006 World Cup, Carragher claims he repeatedly told himself "At least it wasn't Liverpool."

    Playing for one's country is the highest honor for a footballer, and while Carra admitted he loved doing it, he simply loved playing for Liverpool even more.

    He was admonished for his dismissive approach to England, but perhaps he should instead be admired for always having his club on his mind.  

He Is a Winner

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    Jamie Carragher is a consummate professional, a world-class defender and the kind of player who will battle for his team until the bitter end.

    Before his final game against QPR, visiting manager Harry Redknapp hailed the 35-year-old. "Everybody would love a Jamie Carragher in their team. If I had him in my team next season we'd get promoted. That's how highly I rate him," he said (via Eurosport).

    There's not much chance of Carra helping the Hoops next season, but Harry is right: Everybody would love a Jamie Carragher in their team.

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