Lucas Leiva has been around with the Reds for a while. He celebrated ten years at the end of this past campaign and is (hopefully) starting his 11th campaign for the Reds since signing for them in 2007. While he hasn’t been a consistent starter, and has some injuries and loan spells, he’s a constant source of wisdom and encouragement for the current squad as the most senior member of the team.
“It just gets harder and harder!” The Brazilian told the club website when asked about returning for preseason training, admitting that the sessions can be quite intense. “They try to test everything – power, balance, stamina, everything. It’s good.”
Despite some speculation that he may leave the club in this transfer window and say goodbye to those 10 years of service, Lucas showed up just like most everyone else this week, ready and eager to work.
“I’ve missed the ball a lot. I haven’t played football for my whole holiday. So it will be good to start with the ball and get together again and get the movement going. Hopefully by August we’ll all be very, very fit,” he said.
“We had a plan to do during the break; it wasn’t too hard, just to make sure we got here in good shape to start pre-season because that’s what pre-season is about: fitness and getting better.
“It builds up. It’s very intense, like it should be. But when you have experience you know how to manage it.”
While rumours of the midfielder leaving Merseyside have certainly calmed down for now, Lucas has made a point to focus on the training more than what could be happening. Using the momentum from the end of last season to hopefully spur on a successful campaign next season.
“We finished the season on a high. Of course, it’s a new season. We have to do the same and even better. It’s a new challenge.
“The second pre-season, you know what it’s like and how the manager wants us to work. On this side, it’s positive. Hopefully we’ll start in a good way, like we finished.”