Confirming his retirement at the age of 36 due to a heart problem, Lucas Leiva paid tribute to Liverpool as a club and a city, saying: “I’m a scouser.”
Lucas announced that he was forced to resign on Friday during a tearful press conference with Brazilian club Gremio, to which he returned in 2022.
Thus, the midfielder’s adult career ends after 18 years – 10 of which he spent at Merseyside, signing a contract with Liverpool at the age of 20.
His move to Anfield in 2007 was decisive: Lucas gradually earned a reputation among the fans and by the time he left for Lazio he had become a cult hero.
And in a 402-word letter on Instagram after retirement, he paid tribute to the city that became “home.”
“In 2007, I moved to the giant Liverpool, which has been a part of my life for 10 years, and I am very proud to say that today Liverpool is my home!” he wrote.
“I am proud to be a citizen of England together with my family. I’m a Scouser.”
Bu gönderiyi Instagram’da gör
Lucas ‘ message reads:
“The day of farewell to the field has come. I admit that [the decision] came from great forces, but I look back and can only thank you for the career I have built.
“At the age of 14, I left home to become another young man in search of my dream of becoming a football player.
“At the age of 16, I came to Gremio and felt the taste of being in a great club, and also felt that my dream was close to being realized.
“At the age of 18, a dream came true, and with it an unforgettable promotion to Serie A!
“Next year came and I had some of the best moments of my career, including my debut for the Brazilian national team.
“In 2007, I moved to the giant Liverpool, which has been a part of my life for 10 years, and I am very proud to say that today Liverpool is my home!
“I am proud to be a citizen of England together with my family. I’m a Scouser.
“And fate wanted to take me to the most incredible city in Europe: Rome.
“With all my charm and with the fanatical fans of Lazio, I managed to write my name into the history of the club!
“It’s been five wonderful years; as we said in Roma, always forza Lazio.
“Something was not enough to end the career of a football player with a golden key: to return to your favorite team.
“I came back and had the privilege (yes, it’s a privilege to wear a Gremio shirt, regardless of the division) to contribute to the promotion again.
“Of course, I could write a book with the stories I have experienced at these three clubs and over 30 years of football, but I am here to thank every person who has helped me along the way.
“During my journey, many people were important to me to make the career I was able to build. It would be impossible to name them all.
“My family, who was the foundation, supported and always believed and lived with me in this dream; coaches, teammates; my friends for their unconditional support; and fans who have always been with me!
“Thank you very much to football!
“Thank you to all the fans around the world! I am sure that you will continue to support this new cycle that will begin in my life.
You’ll never go alone, Lucas!