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Ex-Liverpool Midfielder Lucas Leiva Retires Due to Heart Issue, Breaks Down in Tears

Ex-Liverpool Midfielder Lucas Leiva Retires Due to Heart Issue, Breaks Down in Tears

Lucas Leiva, the former Liverpool midfielder, has announced his retirement from football due to a heart condition. The 36-year-old Gremio star broke down in tears during an emotional press conference, thanking the club for their support since his return last summer. Lucas moved from Gremio to Anfield in 2007 for £5million and went on to become a club legend, making 346 appearances for the Reds under Rafael Benitez, Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp. He left Liverpool for Italian side Lazio in 2017 before returning to Gremio last year. Lucas made 18 appearances upon his return but stepped away from training after club doctors detected an inflammation of the heart’s myocardium muscle at the end of last year. He has now been diagnosed with scarring in the myocardium.

During the press conference, Lucas said: “I want to thank Gremio for all the support I received in these three months and since I returned. Today I am announcing my retirement. It’s been a difficult period and I think this is the first time I’ve cried over this case. I just have to really thank you. Just gratitude for all this time. I’m ending where I’d like to, but not the way I’d like. I am sure that the new cycle will begin brilliantly. Thanks for everyone’s patience. I had a lot of hope that I could reverse it. It was not the case, but my health also comes first.”

Lucas later posted a video look back at his career on social media, writing: “The day has come to say goodbye to the fields. I confess it came from greater strengths, but I look back and can only be thankful for the career I’ve built. At the age of 14, I left home to be another young man in pursuit of his dream of becoming a football player. At 16 years old I arrived at Gremio and I felt the taste of what it’s like to be in a big club and also felt that the dream was closer to being realised. At 18, the dream comes true and with it the access to Serie A in an unforgettable way! Next year comes and in it I had some of my best moments in my career, including making my debut for the Brazilian National Team.”

Lucas continued: “In 2007 I moved to the giant Liverpool, which has been 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 an English citizen along with my family, I am a Scouser. I wanted fate to take me to the most incredible city in Europe: Rome. With all its charm and with Lazio’s fanatic fans, I managed to mark my name in the history of the club! It’s been five wonderful years; as we say in Rome, ALWAYS FORZA LAZIO.”

Lucas concluded: “One thing was missing to close my football career with the golden key: returning to the team of my heart. I came back and had the privilege (yes it’s a privilege to wear the Gremio shirt, no matter the division) to be able to contribute with access again. Obviously I could write a book with the stories I’ve experienced in these three clubs and in more than 30 years of football, but I’m here to thank each and every person who helped me on this journey. During my journey many people were important to me to have the career that I was able to build. I wouldn’t have to name them all. My family, who has been the foundation, the support and always believed and lived with me this dream; to the coaches, fieldmates, my friends for the unconditional support always and to the fans who have always been with me! THANK YOU SO MUCH Soccer! Thank you to all the fans around the world! I am sure that you will continue to cheer for this new cycle that is about to begin in my life.”

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