I wanted one more year from ‘best ever’ Liverpool defender Carragher – Gerrard

The 35-year-old centre-back has decided to retire at the end of the current season but the Reds’ skipper had hoped that the Anfield legend would stay for at least another 12 months

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits that he had wanted Jamie Carragher to play on for at least one more year before retirement.

The 35-year-old centre-back announced his decision to call an end to his Anfield career on Thursday, the one-club man having made 723 appearances so far – second only to Ian Callaghan – for the five-time European Cup winners.

And while Gerrard is sorry to see his team-mate and friend call time on his playing career, the 32-year-old midfielder has hailed Carragher as the club’s best ever defender.

“I’ve known a little bit longer than other people,” he told the club’s official website. “I’ve tried just as hard as everyone else to try to keep him going for a bit longer. He’s basically taken no notice of what I said because I was trying for him to push on for another year.

“But we have to respect his decision. He’s had a fantastic career and he feels it’s the right time to go out, at the end of the season. Hopefully there are still some big performances left in him before he goes.

“I could go on for a long time about him. People mention him alongside the likes of [Alan] Hansen and [Mark] Lawrenson, the best defenders that this club has ever had.

“For me, if he’s not alongside them he’s a little bit above them. That’s the biggest compliment I can pay him. He’s a wonderful player – at his peak, for two or three seasons he was one of the best defenders in the world.

“At times this season it has been difficult for him, not being a regular starter – because he has been a starter since he made his debut. I can respect and understand his decision; we’re all going to come to that moment in our careers.

“Everyone knows what we’re going to miss on the playing side. Since I made my debut Jamie has been alongside me in the dressing room and been a close mate of mine. It’s going to be different and no-one is going to miss Jamie more than me.”

While the Anfield captain may miss Carragher on a personal level, he believes that the club will also be losing a player who can still have a huge impact on results week in, week out.

“You’ve seen in his last couple of performances against Arsenal and Manchester City, he has brought leadership into the back four,” Gerrard added.

“He organises, he’s a big voice and he’s played very well. His last two performances have typified his career. He has come back in, hasn’t played much of late and has been one of our best players.”

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