Steven Gerrard has revealed why he believes his career would not have reached such glorious heights had it not been for the influence of former teammate Dietmar Hamann.
Liverpool's skipper played alongside 'The Kaiser' for seven years, often forming an imperious partnership in the heart of midfield.
Speaking on Thursday at the launch of the German's new book, 'The Didi Man: My Love Affair with Liverpool', Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.tv how Hamann's defensive abilities allowed him to focus on the attacking side of his own game.
"He was my safety net. The reason people speak about me and how I played with Didi was because he was there," said Gerrard.
"He allowed me to go forward, score and set up goals, and he did all my defensive work and tackling for me.
"At the time we had him, he was in his prime and he was up there with the best holding midfielders in the world.
"There's no Liverpool fan, player or coach at Anfield who wouldn't love him to be 26 or 27 now and still doing his stuff because that's how good he was."
Hamann notched up 283 appearances for the Reds, scoring 11 goals between 1999 and his departure to Manchester City in 2006.
The Kaiser also had spells at Bayern Munich, where he started out as a youngster before moving to Newcastle under the management of Kenny Dalglish.
Throughout an 18-year career he won two Bundesliga titles, two UEFA Cups, three FA Cups and, of course, a Champions League medal in 2005.
"He came to a top club, one of the best in the world, and he enjoyed it and the lads," added Gerrard. "It was successful for him. He won the treble in 2001, he won the European Cup and I think off the pitch he's been good to the fans."
Much of the talk at his book launch - which took place at the new Museum of Liverpool - was about Hamann's affection for Liverpool the club, the city and its people.
Gerrard explained why the mutual respect between the fans and our former midfielder remains so strong.
"The supporters welcomed him with open arms and it was the start of a special relationship," he said.
"He deserves that special relationship with the fans because everyone knew what he could do on the pitch and what a good player he was.
"But I think everyone now knows what a top guy he is off the pitch and, for me, I think that's just as important."