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Ferguson: Carragher like Bruce

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid a glowing tribute to Jamie Carragher on Liverpool's official website, with the Manchester United manager declaring that he "loved" the Reds defender.

• Whalley: Carra's title regret

Carragher will make his 737th and last appearance for Liverpool against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday before he, like Ferguson, retires.

But despite the fierce rivalry between their two clubs, Ferguson has declared himself a fan of Carragher and praised the 35-year-old for his commitment and loyalty.

"He's absolutely a player I admire," Ferguson said. "He's the epitome of a loyal, dedicated player who Liverpool have been lucky to have for more than a decade.

"He's been a bedrock of their defensive qualities for years and years. I loved him. He's a fantastic example for any young lad that wants to play the game. He's been a really, really good professional."

Carragher, who made his debut in 1997, stands second in Liverpool's all-time appearance list and Ferguson compared him with the former United captain Steve Bruce.

"He's absolutely the type of player a manager wants," he added. "I used to rave about Brucie [Steve Bruce] and the nine years he had with us, and I think Jamie Carragher is that exact same mould - can play with injuries, gets knocked about and gets back up, hardly misses a game.

"You're lucky to have players like that. I was lucky to have Steve Bruce and he is the same type of player. A fantastic player."

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