Carragher regrets title blank
Retiring Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher admits the one regret of his 16-year Reds playing career was not winning the league title.
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The 35-year-old played a key part in the famous 2005 Champions League final victory over AC Milan but the top domestic prize just evaded his grasp.
The closest he came to it was in 2008/09 when the club's record Premier League points tally of 86 - a season in which they lost just two matches - was still only good enough for a runners-up place to Manchester United.
Since then Carragher believes the standard of the Premier League has dipped - along with Liverpool's chances of competing for the top four, never mind the title.
"I wish I'd have won the league but you've given it everything and done as much as you can in terms of what you put into it," said the centre-back, who will bow out at Anfield in his 737th and final match for the club against QPR.
"We weren't good enough, all of us. It's very simple, there's no fancy reason or excuse, other teams in that particular season were better than us.
"A couple of times we went close but it was Manchester United or Arsenal.
"It's not something I lose sleep over, I've been very lucky to achieve some of the things I have.
"If you look at everyone there's always something someone hasn't done.
"There's always more to achieve, whatever you've done. I'm pleased with how it's gone.
"If someone had offered me to be here until the end of my career - the trophies, the big games we've played and won, the stadiums I've played in - I'd have bitten their hand off for that."
Asked for his highlight, he stressed there was no contest.
"Istanbul, nothing will beat that - the Champions League final," he added.
"It's difficult to ever top that. We've never won the league, which is a disappointment; if we'd have won that maybe I could have compared the two.
"We've won FA Cups, Carling Cups, the UEFA Cup but nothing compared to the Champions League.
"It's the biggest and best trophy that you can win as a footballer in club football. It's what we achieved.
"It's a team game; there are different managers and coaches who have helped you along the way, you do your best - I've done all right."
Carragher will become a television pundit next season despite the widely-held belief he would move straight into coaching.
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has left the door open for him to return by offering him a job in the future.
"I really hope we see him back at the club one day because with all that experience and knowledge we know he has so much to offer," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"Whether it's as a coach, an analyst or whatever, there will always be a job for him here."
Carragher, however, is determined to pursue his new career path - at least for the time being.
"I've never ruled anything out or in. I've gone down this road for a couple of years, I'll see if I enjoy it or if I'm any good at it and see where it takes me," he said.
"I've been playing football all my life and I'm looking forward to doing different things and seeing where it takes me."
The defender will miss the daily trip to the club's Melwood training ground but he does not expect to be returning on a regular basis as he eases himself into retirement.
"Once you're done, you're done," he admitted.
"I'm sure I'll be welcome to come in for my lunch one day and watch training but I don't think it's something I'll be doing.
"People automatically think of (missing) Anfield, I think of this place (Melwood).
"This is where you come every day, this is where I've been coming since I was nine years of age.
"Anfield is sort of the icing on the cake. It's special but this is where you come every day.
"It's probably coming here and the characters and people you meet every day. You'll have to fill that void in your life."
The Kop sing a song about a team of Carraghers. The defender was asked how that scenario would fare in the Premier League and joked: "There'd be a lot of nil-nils!".
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has promised Carragher there will always be a job for him at the club after this weekend.
"We wish Jamie well in his new career and the door will always be open for him at Liverpool," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"I really hope we see him back at the club one day because with all that experience and knowledge we know he has so much to offer.
"Whether it's as a coach, an analyst or whatever, there will always be a job for him here.
"We hoped he would play on for another season but we fully respect his decision to retire.
"He wants to leave the party before the last call and I understand that.
"I have nothing but admiration for him - both on and off the field.
"It's a big challenge to try to replace him. He's a unique individual and I think finding another player just like him will be impossible."