We all like an underdog story and Lucas Leiva’s surely was one. When the fresh faced blonde kid arrived from Brazil, the Liverpool faithful were excited. Athens was still a fresh wound but they were filled with optimism, We expected Lucas to be Kaka esque, a box to box midfielder who could do it all and he disappointed!
For the first few months in the new country he tried to be Kaka esque but soon enough the harsh reality struck him, this was not Brazil, this was the toughest league in the world where every decision was scrutinised in a million ways. people where right up in his face, he couldn’t take the extra touch he did when he was in Brazil. This was the time when many before and after him had thrown in the towel and slowly faded away. but, this was not an ordinary kid, He adapted and adapted very well.
He transformed into a defensive midfielder and a very good one at that. He got into an area of the pitch where he will get the time to take that extra touch. For the next 3 years he was brilliant, putting in tackle after tackle and getting right in the face of the opponents. He was a mainstay after mascherano left and soon got into the good books of the Kopites winning the Player of the year in 2011.
1st December 2011, the day it all changed. King Kenny had splashed the cash and made a formidable team that gave the all conquering Manchester City team a run for their money just a few days ago with Lucas making Yaya Toure look like a kid in a men’s game. Lucas was so vital, he was one of only two that started the game just 48 hours ago. It was all going well and then it all happened, in the 65th minute of the game, Lucas went charging onto Juan Mata with usual tenacity and ruptured his ACL, He was out for 9 months but he never really came back!
I know he had good spells after that but he never really fit into the fast moving Brendan Rodgers style and he was caught out when he had to play for the suspended Henderson in that all conquering side of late 2013-2014.
Now, when the noises are greater than ever of him leaving us, How will we remember him. He was not someone who took the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged it outside but, his contribution mustn’t easily be forgotten, he was someone who did the dirty work for people who played hero. In that regard I rate him as highly as Dirk Kuyt, Someone who gave it all even at times when there was no light at the end of the Tunnel.
Lucas Leiva – A Cult Hero