London - Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher
will retire from football at the end of this season, the English Premier
League club said in a statement on Thursday.
"This will be my last season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer," said Carragher.
making this announcement now because I don't want the manager (Brendan
Rodgers) or the club to be answering questions on my future when I've
already decided what I am going to do."
The 35-year-old former
England international - a one-club man - joined home-town side
Liverpool as a youth player and has since made over 700 senior
appearances following his debut in 1997.
Carragher, second behind
only Ian Callaghan in Liverpool's all-time appearances list, has won
several major honours in his career, including the Champions League, the
UEFA Cup and two FA Cups.
He confirmed on Thursday his intention
to continue playing for the remainder of the campaign, but added that he
would be making no further statement about his future between now and
the end of the season.
"I will be fully committed between now and
the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool Football
Club, as I've done my entire career since joining aged just nine years
old," he said.
"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent
this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have
done so and thankful for all the support I have had.
many memories I want to share and people to thank but now is not the
time for that. I won't be making any further comment on this decision
until the end of the season.
"All our focus and concentration
should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this
season and trying to win the last remaining trophy (the Europa League)
we are competing in."
Carragher's friend and former Liverpool team-mate Michael Owen predicted that the centre-back still had a future in the game.
"What a servant Carra has been for Liverpool," Owen wrote on Twitter.
rare breed and it's been a privilege to play alongside, room with and
be big mates with one of football's real men. I doubt we have heard the
last of him. He has too much to offer the game to be away for long!"
former Anfield colleague, Robbie Fowler, tweeted: "Sorry to hear the
news on carra, his quotes regarding retirement tell you everything about
the man... An absolute legend of a player."
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, Carragher signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in 1996.
He represented England at under-20, under-21 and senior level, earning 38 full caps.
retired from international football in 2007, he returned to play under
Fabio Capello at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, before retiring
definitively after the tournament.
His finest achievements at
Liverpool were the 2001 treble of the League Cup, the FA Cup and the
UEFA Cup, and the 2005 Champions League success, which saw the club
claim their fifth European Cup.