Carra will play game No600 against Portsmouth today.
"My first real memory of Carra came from when he was playing in the team that won the FA Youth Cup in 1996," McManaman told liverpoolfc.tv. "I used to go with Jamie (Redknapp) and Robbie (Fowler) a lot to watch them and he always stood out, particularly in one game at West Ham.
"He was a great character - with that voice you could hear him coming from a mile away - but it was extra special for me and Robbie to see him come through, as it was another good young local lad.
"Over my period in the team, he must have played in four or five different positions but his attitude was impeccable; he was so determined that it didn't matter whether he played right-back, left-back or wherever.
"He was always eager to learn but, equally, Carra was never afraid to mix it with the older lads and he would put himself about in training - people always talk about his tackling but I wouldn't know about that; he was never quick enough to catch me!
"You sometimes wonder how hard it is going to be for a young, local lad coming into the team and whether the crowd will accept them; sometimes the pressure to succeed can be too much but with Carra it was never going to be an issue. It didn't bother him at all.
"To get to 600 games in this day and age is an outstanding achievement; it shows how well he has looked after himself and why he has been at the top of his profession for such a long time - that he can still play three times a week is a testament to his ability.
"Carra has been a wonderful player for Liverpool, an absolute superstar and I've no doubt whatsoever there will be many more games to come in the future; he's as important to this team now as he's ever been."