Premier League - Tributes pour in for 'exceptional' Carragher

Tributes have started pouring in from across sport for Jamie Carragher, who has announced that he will bring down the curtain on his career at the end of the season.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was the first to doff his cap to the defender, who spent his entire career at Anfield.

"Jamie has been absolutely outstanding for me since I joined the club," he said. "He has been a model professional on and off the pitch and has shown an unswerving commitment to our work."

Current England manager Roy Hodgson tipped Carragher for management.

"Having worked with Jamie Carragher it was always evident that he was a model professional who gave everything he had for club and country," the ex-Liverpool manager said.

"He has had a fantastic career and will always be looked on very fondly by everyone associated with Liverpool Football Club. It was good to see him back in the team recently, I hope that between now and the end of the season he is able to add to his great total of appearances for the club.

"After retirement I am sure he will march quickly up the coaching ladder and become one of the country's top young coaches."

Michael Owen praised his former Liverpool team-mate to the hilt: "What a servant Carra has been for Liverpool. A 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!"

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre was equally glowing: "Everyone within the game knows that Jamie Carragher has been a colossal figure for Liverpool Football Club. You don't have a career spanning three decades at the very top of this game unless you are an exceptional player and what's more, he epitomises the values this club was built on and continues to stand for.

"It speaks volumes about Jamie's selfless nature that even the manner of this announcement is putting the team and the club before himself. It's what he's done throughout his entire career. He told me he didn't want the manager or myself fending off questions regarding his future when he had already made his decision. Jamie's focus, like ours, is on finishing the season as strongly as possible."

Former Reds star Phil Thomson praised the 35-year-old's selfless style: "He's pushed his body to the limits over the years, all for the great honour of playing for Liverpool. We have to give him credit for what he has achieved for the football club. Everything that Jamie has done throughout his career has been for Liverpool.

"The biggest compliment that I can pay to Carra is that, the way he plays the game, he could have fitted into any generation of Liverpool team."

Carragher's long-time England colleague Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to his international team-mate's personal qualities through the years: "Jamie Carragher has been a great servant to Lfc. Great player&a top fella! Funny guy! Nutter when we were kids but management material now."

Former England star turned broadcaster Gary Lineker: "Jamie Carragher will hang up his boots at the end of the season. Those boots were worn by a player respected by everyone in the game."

Daily Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter remembered the player's key role in the 2005 Champions League victory: "Carragher's #lfc career embodied in extra-time in Istanbul: fighting cramp and making tackles to keep AC Milan at bay."

"If Rodgers could only find a new Carragher. He's been outstanding thus far. Downing and Henderson much improved," said Marseille midfielder Joey Barton on Carragher's current form.