Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher says he has no regrets about his decision to call time on his career at the end of this season.
The 35-year-old defender announced his impending retirement from the game earlier in the season when he had fallen out of favour of new manager Brendan Rodgers and struggled for first team appearances.
However, injuries and a drop in form of Martin Skrtel has given Carragher a good run in the side since, showing that he’s still got what it takes to be a top quality Premier League centre-back.
Many have called for the Reds number 23 to stay on for at least another year following his impressive run of form, but in an interview with Brian Reade of the Mirror, Carragher said the timing is still right.
He said, “I’d been thinking for a while: how do you get out? How do you finish with Liverpool? And a quote I’d read years ago from a foreign player stuck with me: ‘Leave the football before football leaves you.’
“I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. Especially as I’ve been at Liverpool all of my life and I never want to let the club or supporters down.”
He added, “It’s nice that people are saying ‘you’re playing well, you should carry on.’ But the more I hear that the more I think I’ve made the right decision to go now.
“As an Everton fan and Liverpool player I’ve seen too many people get slaughtered when supporters think they’ve gone on too long. I don’t want that.”
Carragher, born and raised an Everton fan, will face his boyhood club for the final time this weekend when the two sides meet for the Merseyside derby in the league at Anfield on Sunday.
In the same interview, Carragher opened up about just how passionate he was for the Toffees, despite spending his whole career on the other side of Stanley Park.
He said, “It’s just me. I’m passionate about everything I do. I know there were other Reds like Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen who were Blues as kids, but I don’t know how passionate they were. Me, I’d argue all day for Everton because they were my life.”
The whole interview with Carragher is a very interesting read and can be found on the Mirror’s website here.