Apr 14, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers may try to talk Jamie Carragher out of retiring this summer.
Like Steven Gerrard, the 35-year-old defender is an Anfield icon and one of the most-recognizable names of the Premier League era. He’s made more than 500 league appearances for the club – his only club – since 1996-97.
It’s fair to say that Carragher has been past his prime for a couple of years now, relying on experience to compensate for declining speed and making the occasional glaring error during a long, slow, fade.
He was never the most talented of center halves, but forced his way into the first-team on a regular basis through willpower, hard work and an underrated soccer intellect. Not to mention a forceful, honest and loyal character that endeared him to Liverpool fans at a club that has an especially reverent relationship with home-grown talent.
The sort of personality that made him influential in the locker-room and could see him become a forthright and insightful media pundit for his next job.
He collected 38 England caps, most recently at during the nation’s dire 2010 World Cup finals – three years after he’d originally retired from international soccer because of a lack of action.
Carragher announced in February that he would hang up his boots at the end of this season, but he has made 33 appearances, 24 of them starts, in all competitions this term. He’s been a first-choice lately, so it’s not surprising that Rodgers is interested in keeping his services in 2013-14, even though the manager is overhauling the roster and bringing in younger players.
Rodgers told Sky Sports:
“He’s been fantastic and I do [believe he could play next season]. Him and I communicate a lot and he’s obviously got something in his mind. Him and I will sit down between now and the end of the season anyway and we’ll see where it goes. If he does go, I will certainly miss him because he’s been brilliant for me in my time there, going in as a manager of a club of that size. He’s shown great respect and really helped me and the other guys. The thing for now is to keep performing the way he is until the end of the season and between then and now him and I will chat and we’ll take it from there.”
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