The center-back made his debut against Middlesbrough in 1997 as an 18-year-old and has won the European Cup, two FA Cups, a UEFA Cup, three League Cups and two Super Cups throughout a glittering Anfield career.
A committed professional who has never hidden his dedication to Liverpool’s cause, Carra lifted the lid on how it feels to leave the pitch in a red shirt having lost — and the Bootle boy explained how relief can often be the overwhelming emotion following a win.
“At times it can be difficult, especially over the last few years when it hasn’t gone well,” he told the Daily Mail. “It’s great when you’re winning, it’s fantastic.
“When you’re not, it’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think of when you go to bed. People say, ‘Do you enjoy winning?’ But sometimes you win a game and you’re just happy that you haven’t got the feeling you have when you lose.
“You’re so happy that you haven’t lost. That’s what it is sometimes. Sometimes when you play for a big club, you’re expected to win. It’s not so much I’m worried about the press hammering us. A lot of the time it’s just relief that you haven’t got that sick feeling for a few days.
“When [my career] does finish I can look back and say, ‘That was brilliant, that was great’. But being a local lad playing for Liverpool is intense. And it’s not just on match days, it’s every single day.
“That’s because of the club you play for and that’s the price of the ticket, that’s what every player wants.
“I’ve been one of the main players for Liverpool, winning the European Cup, winning the Cup treble. I played for my team my whole life. I’m probably jealous of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and their titles and European Cups.
“I’d love to have won the league for Liverpool as it’s been so long. But were we ever really good enough? We never threw it away. There was always someone better than us.”
The 34-year-old has worked under six managers during his time in the Liverpool first team, and he is thoroughly enjoying working with current boss Brendan Rodgers, insisting he has the qualities to fit into the Northern Irishman’s possession-based system when called upon.
“I’ve loved working with him,” he said. “Training has been fantastic. Brendan is a great communicator and a great man-manager.
“I get frustrated when people say, ‘Oh, you just put your foot in’ or ‘you’re a great leader or character’. I’m not Xabi Alonso but I can play football, I can pass the ball. I’ve done it my whole life; I’ve played from the back.”
Carragher also had time to reflect on a momentous day for the city of Liverpool and its people after the Hillsborough Independent Panel released its findings on Wednesday.
A childhood Evertonian, Carragher was present at the other FA Cup semifinal on the day between the Blues and Norwich, and he insisted that since becoming a father he has realised the true scale of the grief the families have suffered for 23 years.
“As a kid, you don’t really understand what happened,” he explained. “As you grow up, you understand a bit more but it’s when you’ve got your own kids and you hear the stories of a family saying, ‘I sent my child off in the morning and they didn’t come back’, that’s when it hits you.
“Even if you get justice, you can never get over that.”
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com