In terms of being a Liverpool fan, I’m a tween. Going into my 13th year of support, I don’t have the deep well of memories that many of you on here do, watching Robbie Fowler or Xabi Alonso or Kenny Dalglish or Ian Rush tear up Anfield.
However, there have still been players that have earned a special place in my heart, players for whom I will always have fond and nostalgic memories. Lucas Leiva’s name was the first one I ever got on the back of a Liverpool kit, back in 2010. His optimism, loyalty, and hard work during that difficult period in the team’s history made him stand out to me.
Well, that and his shamelessness in putting in a cynical, diving challenge when the situation called for it in his role as a defensive midfielder.
The split between player and club was amicable when he left after 10 years of service to join Serie A team Lazio. Eventually, he completed the move most expected and returned to his boyhood club Gremio last year. Lucas has proven his persevering loyalty to the Reds in the six years since he’s been gone.
On Friday, Lucas announced his retirement from professional football at age 36. During the Brazilian pre-season, doctors discovered that Lucas has a heart issue. He took some time off to try to deal with it, but ultimately came to the reasonable decision to hang up his boots.
He posted a long letter on Instagram saying good bye, and he was a real jerk about it.
Just kidding. He was as respectful and thoughtful as he’s always been.
About his time at Liverpool, he said, “In 2007 I transferred to the giant [that is] Liverpool, which was part of my life for 10 years. It is with great pride that I can say that today Liverpool is my home. I’m proud to be an English citizen and along with my family; I’m [a] Scouser!”
Hopefully Lucas continues taking good care of his heart condition and remains healthy and happy with his young family.