Belfast Telegraph

Gerrard hails Carra as 'Reds great'

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes team-mate Jamie Carragher is a "one-off" and paid tribute to the stalwart defender ahead of his testimonial at Anfield on Saturday.

The 32-year-old centre-back will mark a 14-year professional career with the Reds with a fundraising game for his 23 Foundation against an Everton XI. Gerrard, who hopes to be able to make a brief appearance, said Carragher's influence on the team during that time should not be under-estimated.

"You tend to associate players these days moving around a lot but Carra is, in many ways, a one-off and nobody deserves to celebrate their career more," said the Reds captain.

"He has put so much effort in to his career, has shown so much desire and sweated blood for the club.

"It's great I'm going to have chance to celebrate with him. He's been a big influence on me ever since I arrived at Melwood on day one.

"We come from similar backgrounds, so it was easy bouncing ideas off each other and I've got nothing but the utmost respect for him as a player and person."

Gerrard added in the Liverpool Echo: "Every successful team needs a player like Carra.

"It doesn't matter what type of game it is, he leaves everything out on the pitch.

"He has worked so hard for everything he has achieved. There have been times when he has had his fair share of criticism but we all go through that.

"What is important is how you come through it and Carra has shown consistently in recent years he has been one of the best defenders in the world."

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