Steven Gerrard insists Jamie Carragher was never his vice-captain at Liverpool – instead he was a co-skipper on the pitch.
The No.8 sat down with Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood this week to reflect back upon the 17-year Anfield career of his teammate and close friend following Carra's retirement from the game.
And in our exclusive interview, Gerrard explained why he never looked upon Carragher as his deputy over the years.
"He is a great leader - and to be a great leader, you've got to be very vocal," he said. "You've got to be organised, know what to do on the pitch at certain times and you've also got to lead by example and give the right messages out to players at the right times.
"I never really looked at Jamie as a vice-captain or a No.2 - for me, he was a captain. We bounced off each other and tried to do the job as best we could between us for this team."
LFC TV Online subscribers can watch the full Gerrard interview by clicking play on the video, or alternatively you can read the transcript below.
Your teammate, vice-captain and friend Jamie Carragher has retired after 17 years and 737 appearances for the club. How do you assess Jamie's contribution in a red shirt?
I think it's been unbelievable. Just looking at those figures, 737 appearances and I think the majority of them have been at a consistent level. There have been performances where he has put absolutely everything into it - blood, sweat, determination, desire...everything. Every word that is associated with a top footballer, Jamie has shown them in all of those appearances.
Casting your mind back to the first time you met him - what are your memories of a young Jamie Carragher? How old were you both and did you hit it off?
The first time I met Jamie, I was a couple of years younger than him and I was actually cleaning the professionals' changing room. He was getting showered and giving out a little bit of stick as per usual. That's my first memory of him and also actually watching him train - I went down to Lilleshall once and watched him play. He was actually a centre-forward at the time. He's someone I watched quite closely when I was young.
When we hit it off was probably four or five years after that really, when I became an established name in the first team. That's when I started getting close to him.
From those early days, what do you think it was that really propelled Jamie into becoming the world-class defender he developed into in subsequent years?
I think his heart. Inside that man, he's got something that not many other footballers have got. He is prepared to take his body to the limit and prepared to do whatever it takes to win a football match. Not many footballers have got that. I think when you look at other footballers, you talk about what they've got technically, skill-wise and things like that, but for me it's all about what Jamie has got and other players haven't got and that's a lot of desire and determination.
He's also a good footballer. He can pass the ball, he can defend and he's got a lot of attributes to his game, but for me I'd like to talk about the things he's got that other players haven't got and that's what is inside his body.
At the top of his game, can you imagine what Jamie was like to play against?
It'd be very tough. I've played against him when he's been at the top of his game in practice matches in training. I think from 2004 onwards, certainly for three or four years, he was one of the best defenders in Europe, for sure.
You name all of the best ones - your Terrys, Ferdinands, Nestas and Cannavaros - and Jamie sits comfortably in amongst all of those names. It was a pleasure to have him behind you as a player.
Tell us about Jamie's influence in the Anfield dressing room - what was he like before matches for example?
Huge...massive. Everyone knows he's a wonderful captain and a great leader. Very vocal, an oragniser, and so as a captain he's been a huge help to me and all of the other players. That's what we're going to miss the most. Any footballer can, talent and ability-wise, be replaced because there are tonnes and tonnes of good footballers throughout the world, but what we won't be able to replace are those leadership qualities and that voice.
Would it be fair to say as a player Jamie Carragher played the game hard but fair?
Of course, he was always fair. His disciplinary record speaks for itself. He's someone who got very few yellow cards and I think he was sent off a couple of times, at most. He was fair, played the game in the right way and set an unbelievable example for young kids growing up wanting to be defenders.
On that note, how would you describe Carra's relationship with referees over the years...
I think he's been respectful, of course. The level we play at, you've got to be sort of cute and clever and try to get referees on your side. Whether that works or not...it probably doesn't. But every opposition we play against, there are two or three people in their team who are very vocal towards the referee. It was always in a respectful manner - it's banter, it's healthy and something that everyone does.
As the two local lads in the team, how close would you say you and Carra became over the years?
Of course we're close. We have a lot of respect for each other, our families know each other, the kids, and we do things off the pitch as well. I'm sure that relationship will continue. When you play with somebody for so long and spent so much time with them, the relationship is going to stay the same.
It has been a difficult few days since his retirement to realise he's not going to be here much anymore, and myself more than anyone is going to have to suffer.
How were you personally feeling on Sunday?
I had mixed emotions, really. I was looking at him and was delighted for him after the career he's had. He also went out on a good note and I thought his performance was fantastic. I know his family were really proud. I know deep down underneath that stone heart he's got that he was emotional himself!
So, it was a bit mixed for me - a bit sad it's coming to an end because I've enjoyed all of the games I played with him and it was also very emotional, as well.
Throughout your time at Liverpool did you yourself learn anything from Jamie, and if so what?
Yes, of course. You learn off every single player you play with and all the coaches you work with, and without advertising it, maybe take little bits and bobs from every single person in the dressing room and staff you work with throughout the years. There have been a lot of things I've learned from Jamie.
Jamie has been your vice-captain for many years and also skippered the team when required to do so. What sort of leadership qualities did Carra have and how did that compare to you as a captain?
As I mentioned earlier, he is a great leader - and to be a great leader, you've got to be very vocal. You've got to be organised, know what to do on the pitch at certain times and you've also got to lead by example and give the right messages out to players at the right times. I never really looked at Jamie as a vice-captain or a No.2 - for me, he was a captain. We bounced off each other and tried to do the job as best we could between us for this team.
He's obviously going to go into punditry now he's hung his boots up, but do you think one day he'll make a good manager?
Yes, I do - and I think the punditry will help him. I think it helps to come away from the game for a short while when you finish. When you've been coming into the same place every single day since leaving school, it's nice to have a bit of a change. He'll learn an awful lot about the game when he becomes a pundit and I'm sure that will stand him in good stead. I wouldn't be surprised if he became a manager one day, but we'll have to wait and see.
Finally, at the recent Football Writers' Awards dinner Jamie Carragher said your biggest strength is that you have no weakness. What's been Jamie's biggest strength over the last 17 years?
He's got a lot and I think it's difficult to pick one, but for me his will to win is what sets him apart the most. The things he's done, the sacrifices he made and what he put into the game to win was Jamie's strength.