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Carragher: Suarez is one of the greats

Jamie Carragher has said Luis Suarez is a rival to Steven Gerrard for the accolade of being the finest footballer he has played alongside.

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The Liverpool defender, who has described Gerrard as the club's greatest-ever player, feels there is very little to separate the captain and top scorer Suarez.

And he is championing Suarez's cause in his bid to be named Footballer of the Year. The striker has scored 29 goals and helped Liverpool to a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

"I've played with a lot of top players here and I've always said Stevie was the best player I've played with," Carragher said.

"But Luis is definitely on his shoulder. He is very close, put in another top performance and shows why he deserves to be Footballer of the Year."

Carragher has announced that he will retire at the end of the season and believes Gerrard, who turns 33 in May, will also end his career at Anfield.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to offer the midfielder an extended contract and Carragher is in no doubt that his friend will accept it.

He added: "I'm sure he will sign a contract and finish his career at Liverpool the way I've done. There is no doubt about that. I'm sure he'll sit down and sort it out in the next couple of months."

Gerrard scored Liverpool's winner from the penalty spot at Villa Park and then made a goal-line clearance to deny Christian Benteke an equaliser.

Carragher said: "He is Captain Fantastic every week. He's been doing it for years, scoring at one end, saving at the other."

The win was Liverpool's fifth victory in six games and Carragher was particularly pleased with the way they responded after going 1-0 down.

He said: "It is something that has been questioned about us over the last few years, going behind in games and coming back.

"Following on from [the defeat at] Southampton, we spoke about putting on a performance. Winning that game now makes Southampton look like a blip, because we were on a good run."

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