For the first time in two years, midfielder Lucas Leiva finds himself flying off to join Brazil during an international break. With Brazil automatically qualified for next summer's World Cup, it may only be a pair of friendlies, but after a long road back from an ACL injury at the club level and a change in coaches for his national side, it's nevertheless a significant achievement.
"I'm really over the moon to be honest," Lucas told the club's official site. "The feeling is the one that I felt in 2006 when I was called for the first time into the Brazil squad. I was 19 and the feeling was exactly the same. I've been fighting to get back and to have another chance to play for my country after a difficult period when I had two bad injuries which prevented me from fighting for my place.
"The call came at the right time—so close to the World Cup—but it's the chance that I was expecting and it will just give me more confidence to keep playing well and doing well for the club. I think it will help Liverpool, myself, and if I do well with the national team, it will help my chance to play in the World Cup. That's what I'm [looking] to do."
With Felipe Scolari using Brazil's October friendlies to experiment with what until now has been a fairly settled lineup, Lucas will have to put in a top performance to push his way back into the picture for the World Cup. For the player, though, it's a chance. And after the last two years, even that's something he's looking forward to.
"To play for Brazil means everything because I know how many players Brazil have and how difficult it is to be involved in the squad," he added. "I had a chance to play for them before and if you have a bad injury, it's more difficult to get a chance.
"I'm really looking forward to taking the chance that Scolari is giving me and hopefully I'll do well and keep my dream alive. Playing in the World Cup with my country, with my friends and family around, would be amazing."
Brazil will face South Korea on Saturday (Noon BST/7AM EST) and Zambia on Tuesday (12:45PM BST/7:45AM EST).
Lucas: "I'm Over the Moon"
After two years out of the Brazilian national team picture, Liverpool's Lucas is relishing the chance to impress against South Korea and Zambia.
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