Ten years. TEN YEARS. TEN. YEARS. It’s a long time in the real world, and seemingly an eternity in footballing years. The last decade hasn’t been a kind one to a club with Liverpool’s stature, but Lucas Leiva was here through every step of the way: through two oh so close title runs under Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers, through the Hodgepocalypse, through the last time the Reds would lift a trophy under King Kenny, and through the rise of Jurgen Klopp.
Ten years and 339 appearances later, Lucas never reached the heights we all hoped he would, especially before his brutal ACL injury derailed his career in late 2011. Although his future under Klopp is uncertain, this is a milestone still worth celebrating. The club might not be giving Papa Lucas a testimonial, but they are releasing a documentary about the player tonight at 8 PM BST, free for subscribers on LFCTV.
"If someone had said to me at that moment I would be 10 years at Liverpool and have two kids born in Liverpool, I would say they were crazy!” Lucas said in the interview for the upcoming documentary, "I came to Liverpool always thinking to be successful and always to put my mark at the club. But 10 years is a long time, especially these days in football with players moving after only two years.
"Of course, you always want more but I think my 10 years [at LFC]... I just have to be grateful and be proud of my journey and be thankful to all of the people who helped me."
There’s a reason why a player like Lucas has more support from the fans than his playing time and contribution would otherwise suggest, and that’s because he “get it.” He understands what the city of Liverpool is about, and he embraces it.
"I have no regrets if someone calls me Scouse because as I said before, Liverpool is a unique city, they have unique people and I feel really one of them.
"I have a lot of Scouse friends and it's a city you can see that has people who fight and never give up.
"Sometimes it's hard but that's what you should be and fight for what you believe in. That's how I see Liverpool people because they fight for things that they believe in."
The last several seasons for Lucas must have been difficult, as he has watched his preferred role as defensive midfielder diminish. Yet, he has shown time and time again that when he is really needed to fill in, he can still do a job and provide vital leadership and experience to an otherwise youthful club.
Hopefully Liverpool can convince Lucas to stick around. His experience on and off the pitch is invaluable. If he does move on this summer, no one would blame him; 30-years-old is still young enough to have several good seasons elsewhere. Regardless, he’ll still be our favorite Scouse Brazilian (at least until Coutinho matches his ten years of service).