Lucas Leiva has no regrets about the timing of his Liverpool departure as the Brazilian relishes witnessing his former side's success as a fan now。
After 346 appearances across a 10-year spell on Merseyside, Lucas opted for a fresh challenge in the summer of 2017 and joined Serie A side Lazio.
北京赛车pk10投注The very next season, Jürgen Klopp guided the Reds to the Champions League final and, of course, they responded to their defeat against Real Madrid by returning a year later and lifting the trophy in Madrid.
Lucas, simultaneously, became an integral figure for Lazio, who clinched the Coppa Italia in 2018-19 and were placed a close second behind leaders Juventus in the Italian top flight before football was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic。
It represents the perfect outcome for the midfielder: seeing his old club secure silverware while he also enjoys the game time he wanted when he made the decision to leave.
“The year after I left, we lost in the final. I met the boys here in Rome [for the 2018 semi-final]. But, of course, [to win it] I was really happy, to be honest,” he said on the latest episode of LFCTV’s Legends in Lockdown.
“My son, my family, we are Liverpool fans now.
“It’s a great achievement and I’m just really happy because so many people there I am still in touch with and still care a lot about.
“Of course, you always think, ‘Had I waited one more year…’ but, to be honest, I wasn’t happy. When you are not happy it makes no sense so, to be honest, it’s better I see Liverpool winning and I’m happy as well playing.
“As a fan I’m really happy. Of course, I would like to have won it but I won it as a fan, let’s say.”
Lucas has played 113 games for I Biancocelesti北京赛车pk10投注 to date and helped them win the Italian Super Cup in 2017 and 2019, too.
With just two defeats in 26 Serie A fixtures this term, Lazio sit only a point behind Juventus with a superior goal difference。
“It was a new challenge for me,” reflected the 33-year-old. “A club that received me with open arms and I had a lot of responsibility when I arrived, coming from Liverpool and bringing the experience.
“Since I arrived we won three titles, we are now second in the league and it has been fantastic, to be honest. The family has settled really well, the weather is fantastic so it’s been all positive since the day I arrived so I’m really happy.
北京赛车pk10投注“Like I said, I wanted to play and show my value again in a new challenge and I’ve been able to do that, so that’s really important as well.”
Signed on this day in 2007 by Rafael Benitez, Lucas later played under Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers before the final phase of his Liverpool career was overseen by Klopp。
He was often used in central defence as Klopp began to transform the Reds and looks back on their shared time at Anfield with fondness and appreciation.
“I learned a lot with him, a lot,” said Lucas.
“I played centre-back; I wouldn’t say I wasn’t happy but it’s not my position, but I learned when you work hard you have to be patient, something that my career at Liverpool was always like this – patience, keep proving, keep going and don’t give up.
“With Jürgen it was always the same. He treated me with respect, and especially when it was the time for me to move on and he was really good. He gave me confidence and the freedom to choose to move to Italy.
“We are still in touch. We send messages. I learned a lot and he’s a guy that is very open, very honest and that’s really important as well.”