Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is retiring from football following the diagnosis of a heart condition.
The condition was detected during tests by club Gremio and the 36-year-old Brazilian said in an emotional press conference that his health must come first.
“I’m ending where I’d like, not the way I’d like,” he said.
“I had a lot of hope that it would reverse, but it was not the case. My health comes first.”
Lucas rejoined his boyhood club Gremio last summer from Italian side Lazio.
He left Liverpool in 2017 after a decade of service and 346 appearances for “The Reds”.
Lucas said on Instagram: “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.”
The club congratulated their former midfielder on Twitter for a great career.
We're all with you, @LucasLeiva87.
Congratulations on a brilliant career and we wish you the very best in your next chapter ❤️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 17, 2023
He was voted Liverpool’s player of the year in 2010/11 and won the League Cup with the club in 2011/12.
He also won Lazio’s player of the year in consecutive seasons in 2017/18 and 2018/19, and lifted silverware in 2018/19 with the Coppa Italia.
(Featured image courtesy of md.faisalzaman, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)