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May 17, 2013

Rodgers keen to copy Carragher

Brendan Rodgers has declared his ambition to have as long and successful a Liverpool career as Jamie Carragher.

• Whalley: Carra's title regret

The club's vice-captain will bring his 16-year Anfield first-team career to an end after Sunday's Premier League home match against QPR.

Carragher, 35, has won the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups since making his debut in January 1997.

Rodgers, who left Swansea to replace Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's manager last June, has hailed the former England defender as an inspiration.

And asked if he would like to emulate Carragher's success and longevity at Anfield, Rodgers said on the club's website: "Absolutely. It's why I came here.

"I left a brilliant club in Swansea. I was in no rush to leave. I was 39 years of age and hoping to be in the game for a long time, but the chance to come to a club like this is a dream for many people.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I needed to take it. I wanted to take it because I hoped I could build something here and stay here for a long time.

"We're trying to put things in place that can make the club sustainable going forward, on and off the field. But I know I need to win games, it's as simple as that, in order to stay here for that length of time."

Rodgers has been particularly impressed with Carragher's professionalism, pointing out that the centre-back has not eased up in training this week, even as he prepares for his 737th and final Liverpool appearance.

The manager said: "It's been an absolute privilege to work with him. He's in the final week of his career, going into the game against QPR at 35 years of age.

"He knows he's retiring, but after training yesterday he was still in the gymnasium, preparing himself with the same commitment that he has shown throughout his entire career.

"He could have had a lazy day. He could have had a bit of lunch and then shot home, but he was in the gym preparing his body and doing his core work, preparing himself to the maximum to be his best.

"And that says it all about him – that at the end of his career, he is still preparing as if it was his first game.

"I'll miss him because he's totally in tune with what I'm trying to do and where we are trying to go as a football club."

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