Carragher will ‘relish’ Chelsea clash – ex-Liverpool midfielder Hamann

The German believes the 34-year-old’s passion for big games will enable him to play a vital part in his last clash against the Blues before his retirement at the end of the season

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Jamie Carragher will “relish” his final clash with Chelsea before retiring at the end of the season.

Carragher has played over 700 times for the Reds, lining up against the Blues on more occasions than any other side in his Anfield career, and is set to hang up his boots at the conclusion of the current campaign.

But Hamann believes the 34-year-old’s passion and appreciation of the rivalry between the clubs means he can still play a vital part in his last ever game against the west London side.

“You always knew Carra really seemed to grasp the rivalry between the clubs,” Hamann told Liverpool’s official website.

“He relishes these games against Chelsea. These are the matches where you have to prove to the fans that you can beat the best and Carra has done that consistently.

“His passion in those games has earned him the high standing he enjoys among the Liverpool fans and he will always have that.

“The Chelsea games I remember most are the semi-finals in the Champions League in 2005. We beat them in the FA Cup a year later and were unlucky to lose in the League Cup final.

“In my time at the club, Arsenal and Chelsea were the benchmark. Chelsea were a huge success domestically but in cup competitions, we had the edge and Carra was a vital part of that.”

Hamann also believes Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez – who enjoyed six years at Anfield – will be given a good reception, although he will be treated like any another opponent while the match is in progress.

“It’s a real one-off game, especially given the circumstances at Chelsea at the moment,” explained Hamann.

“I think Rafa has been looking forward to coming back. But I do think the appreciation for his achievements will stop for 90 minutes once the game begins.

“It will be an interesting game, Liverpool will want to get three points to get back into the fight to finish as highly as possible and above Everton.”

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