The tribute to the retiring great was glowing. "Absolutely a player I admire," saidSir Alex Ferguson. "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."
And yet the significant element was not the words, but the identity of the man he praised.
This was not Ferguson hailing Paul Scholes, who should play his final Manchester United game at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, but an iconic figure of "that mob along the road," as the Scot has described Liverpool.
Such is the indication of Jamie Carragher's impact during his 16-year career.
A man who epitomises Liverpool has nevertheless transcended them. There is respect for his unyielding determination, his personality, his achievements.
After Carragher has played his 737th and last Liverpool game against the already relegated Queens Park Rangers tomorrow at Anfield, he will bow out standing second only to Ian Callaghan on their list of all-time appearance makers.
There is a strong case for choosing him in a select 11 of Liverpool greats. He has won 11 trophies, annoyed only by the one that got away.
"I wish I'd won the league," he said. Ferguson's United is a major reason why he did not but compensation came on the continent.
The local hero has been a throwback and a 21st-century success history, the odd-job man who reinvented himself as the Uefa Champions League's most defiant defender in 2005 and 2007.
His first final ensured his place in Liverpool folklore.
"In Istanbul you now have all the images of him on the floor with cramp," said Rafa Benitez, his manager at the time.
It did not stop Carragher somehow denying AC Milan an extra-time winner.
"This is the type of character you are looking for from your players," Benitez added.
It was the defining match of his career, the moment a boyhood Evertonian became a Liverpool legend.
"Istanbul," reflected Carragher this week. "Nothing will ever beat that."
Thereafter, he has always been bracketed with Steven Gerrard, his fellow Merseysider and another one-club man.
The midfielder's shoulder injury means he sits out his friend's farewell. Instead, it means his long-term deputy will lead Liverpool tomorrow.
Carragher himself will choose the pre-match and half-time playlist at Anfield - The Beatles' In My Life, Oasis' Don't Look Back In Anger and Paul Simon's The Boxer seem to have a particular pertinence for an old fighter who bows out with few regrets - and the Kop, no doubt, will serenade him with an old favourite of theirs: We All Dream Of A Team of Carraghers.
As the man himself accepts, such a side would have plenty of 0-0 draws.
There may even be the occasional 1-0 defeat in there too: Carragher has more own goals than goals, a sign of his willingness to throw himself in the way of opposition shots.
Yet such resolve accounts for his comeback. By the start of this season, he seemed the fourth-choice central defender. He takes his leave, once again, as the preferred pick.
Carragher's experience, determination and organisational skills prompted Brendan Rodgers to bring him back.
When, in back-to-back games in January and February, he excelled against Arsenal and Manchester City, his rehabilitation was complete.
And then he announced his retirement.
Since then, he has refused requests to stay on. Instead, the phrase attributed to Walt Disney - "always leave them wanting more" - applies to Carragher's exit.
"It is the right time," he said. "It's nice that I'm in the side and people are saying 'you're doing well' and 'why not stay for a year?' - it's better than them saying 'you should've gone a year ago'."
He goes out, if not at the peak of his powers - he was at his finest between 2004 and 2009 - when he is valued and valuable.
An essentially grounded man is unlikely to get carried away by the acclaim - chairman Tom Werner called him "an extraordinary person and a man of remarkable integrity" - but that, too, is testament to the character that has underpinned a remarkable career.
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