Xabi Alonso considers Jamie Carragher to be the 'best Scouser in the world' after reflecting on the defender's dual passion for football and humour ahead of the 35-year-old's retirement.
The Real Madrid midfielder shared a dressing room with the centre-back for five seasons, developing a close relationship with the Bootle native which has survived to this day.
With Carragher set to play his final match for Liverpool on Sunday, against Queens Park Rangers, Alonso has expressed his admiration for the No.23's commitment to the club and the city.
"What can be said about Carra?" he told LFC TV's new 'Carragher' documentary.
"As soon as I got to Liverpool, just as we met, I knew that he was someone special because of the way he felt the club - he was pure Liverpool, not just the club, the city.
"I always say he is probably the best Scouser in the world, because he's a great example of what the club is and what the city is. You see the passion that he's got for the club and the game as well.
"He's a great friend of mine and during my five years we were really close and we are still very close.
"You could see that he was a tough guy; he was very direct, he was a leader on the pitch. When we started playing you could see that he was an example on the pitch.
"He was very intense, shouting to everyone and asking for many things, but he was the first one to deliver. That's what you want from a leader - the way he behaves and the way he plays, and the passion that he plays with, he wants that from his teammates.
"As a teammate he was really funny; he loved the banter, he loved joking and he has the special Scouse humour. It was great. Not just him, his father and his brother have the same profile.
"He was a leader because he was always thinking about the club - not just the team, the institution. He had a very big picture about what had to be done for the club.
"He was always thinking about the game - he loved football, he could be talking about football for hours. He always had football magazines, football books and biographies of former players. He is 100 per cent football."
Few players have plied their trade at Anfield without receiving at least one vociferous ear-bashing from the Liverpool vice-captain - but is Alonso included in that group?
"Many times! We used to shout at each other. He's very intense, he can even be scary, but once you know him you know the way he is and you have to take it as a good sign," the Spaniard recalled.
"We never had any problems. I remember in one game he was shouting at Arbeloa, he was really aggressive and I had to go to him and say: 'Carra, okay, slow down. Don't be that intense.'
"On the pitch, he always pushed Alvaro and was very aggressive. But he's not aggressive, he's just very intense and wants the best for the team whenever he sees something that can be corrected.
"There was one game in Birmingham, after the game I said to Carra: 'We know you but you need to slow down on the pitch.' He said: 'Yes Xabi, but you know on the pitch when I see something I don't like, I have to try to correct that.' That's Carra."
A new documentary featuring Jamie Carragher's managers, teammates and some high-profile opponents airs for the first time at 7pm BST on Friday, May 24 on LFC TV. 'Carragher' will also be available on LFC TV Online and will conclude a fortnight of tributes across club media.