After confirming his retirement at 36 due to a heart problem, Lucas Leiva has paid tribute to Liverpool as a club and a city, saying “I’m a Scouser.”
Lucas announced he had been forced to retire on Friday, during a tearful press conference with Brazilian side Gremio, who he rejoined in 2022.
The midfielder’s senior career ends, therefore, after 18 years – 10 of which were spent on Merseyside, having signed for Liverpool as a 20-year-old.
His move to Anfield in 2007 was a formative one, with Lucas slowly building his reputation among fans to become a cult hero by the time he left for Lazio.
And in a 402-word letter on Instagram following his retirement, he paid tribute to the city that has become “home.”
“In 2007, I transferred to the giant Liverpool, which was part of my life for 10 years, and it is with great pride that I can say that today Liverpool is my home!” he wrote.
“I’m proud to be an English citizen along with my family. I’m a Scouser.”
Lucas’ post reads:
“The day has come to say goodbye to the pitch. I confess that [the decision] came from greater forces, but I look back and can only thank you for the career I built.
“At the age of 14, I left home to be another young man in search of his dream of becoming a soccer player.
“At the age of 16, I arrived at Gremio and I felt the taste of being at a great club and also feeling that the dream was closer to being realised.
“At 18, the dream came true, and with it promotion to Serie A in an unforgettable way!
“The next year came and I had some of the best moments in my career, including making my debut for the Brazilian national team.
“In 2007, I transferred to the giant Liverpool, which was part of my life for 10 years, and it is with great pride that I can say that today Liverpool is my home!
“I’m proud to be an English citizen along with my family. I’m a Scouser.
“And fate wanted to take me to the most incredible city in Europe: Rome.
“With all its charm and with the fanatical Lazio fans, I managed to write my name in the history of the club!
“They were five wonderful years; as we said in Roma, always forza Lazio.
“Something was missing to end my career in football with a golden key: returning to my favourite team.
“I came back and had the privilege (yes, it is a privilege to wear the Gremio shirt, no matter the division) of being able to contribute to promotion again.
“Obviously I could write a book with the stories I’ve lived in these three clubs and in more than 30 years of football, but I’m here to thank every person who helped me along this path.
“During my journey, many people were important for me to have the career I was able to build. It would be impossible to name them all.
“My family, which was the basis, supported and always believed and lived this dream with me; to the coaches, team-mates; to my friends for their unconditional support; and to the fans who have always been with me!
“Thank you so much football!
“Thanks to all the fans around the world! I’m sure that you will continue cheering for this new cycle that will begin in my life.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Lucas!