Rafa congratulates 600-not-out Carragher

Jamie Carragher will make his 600th appearance for Liverpool tomorrow as he lines up for the Reds against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in tomorrow’s 12.45pm Premier League game.

Carragher made his debut for the Reds in a League Cup semi-final defeat to Middlesbrough back in 2007 and at the age of 31 will tomorrow become only the ninth player to reach the 600 game milestone for the club.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez told press ahead of this weekend’s clash on the South Coast, “It’s like I said with Stevie recently – to be at one club for such a long time and to play 600 games is absolutely amazing and shows the passion and commitment.

“Before I came here, I watched a lot of games and was analysing the players and Carra always stood out as you could see he was a clever player.

“He wanted to be a central defender and he was keen to learn; you can see that he has improved and improved every single year. He is a top professional.

“That is the difference between him and other players. Some have different qualities but he analyses, he reads the games well and he can adapt to different situations.

“It can be difficult for defenders to get recognition. For strikers and midfielders, it is easy because everyone can see their goals.

“With defenders, you tend only to see own goals and mistakes getting highlighted, so it is more difficult to keep up their profile.

“But during the time I have been here, you can only say that Carra has done really well; he is one of the best defenders in England – and I’m sure he will continue to do well.”