Ask any Liverpool fan and they'll tell you that Xabi Alonso was European football's best midfielder during his prime - and rightly so.
Superb in possession, hard in the tackle and capable of picking out the top corner from range, he had everything you could possibly want from a midfielder.
He and Steven Gerrard formed a formidable partnership in the centre of the park under Rafa Benitez and inspired Champions League glory in 2005.
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Because of his relationship with Gerrard, many would expect Alonso to name the Englishman as his favourite Liverpool teammate, yet that's not the case at all.
In fact, it's Jamie Carragher that he liked most on Merseyside.
According to the Guardian, he said: "Carra, Stevie, Sami [Hyppia] and Didi [Hamman] were all huge influences on everyone else. All different characters, strong personalities.
"When each one of them spoke, I listened. They helped me improve as a player and as a person, and when I went back to Spain to play for the national team I felt a lot stronger through the experiences shared with them.
"I liked Carra the most. He is the biggest Scouser in the world. We got on well from day one.
"I think he realised that I loved football and he loves football too. We would watch games together and talk about it every day.
"I think he respected that I would enter arguments with him. He was always very loud; you could hear his voice above everyone else's.
"I would say, ‘Carra, shut the f**k up, you have no idea!’ He liked all of that: the confrontation."
By the sounds of it, Alonso and Carragher's relationship revolved around swearing at each other and talking about football.
Whatever the reason behind their friendship, it worked wonders at Anfield.
It would seem the feeling is mutual where Carragher is concerned after the former centre-back claimed he was left "devastated" by the Spain international's departure.
Speaking about his best and worst teammates in March, he said: "The first one that springs to mind is Xabi Alonso. I was devastated when he left for Real Madrid."
Alonso also revealed how the 2008/2009 Liverpool side that came so close to winning the Premier League had the best spine he has ever played in.
"To win the league you need to have everything. These were my happiest times at Liverpool: Pepe [Reina] to [Daniel] Agger, Agger to me, me to Stevie and Stevie to [Fernando] Torres. Sometimes it would take less than 10 seconds.
"The spine in that team was the best I’ve played in. You also have Carra and [Javier] Mascherano in the side - top-class players."
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