I can verify that Lucas Leiva has read this article and contacted me via twitter and said “obrigado”
Lucas Leiva arrived to Liverpool from Germio in 2007 with a good reputation and the youngest ever winner of the Bola de Ouro. Previous winners have included Zico, Romario and Kaka.
Lucas captained Brazil to the U20s South American youth title in 2007 plus scoring 4 goals during the championship.
The reception Lucas received on his arrival can only be described as mixed, some fans who follow South American football knew of this young and exciting talent others simply didn’t know anything about Lucas at all.
The Brazilian played over 30 games in his first season at Anfield and 39 in the next which included the game that most fans still believe is the best performance from Lucas, the 4-1 at Old Trafford.
Lucas stepped in for Alonso that day and put in a performance that was simply class, but even then he was struggling to win over the Liverpool fans.
Last season saw Lucas finally win over the fans by being consistent week after week and winning the fans player of the season award, It is no more than he deservers.
Lucas is now one of the first names on the team sheet and rightly so, now when fans look at the line up, if he is not part of it we start to worry.
So what has changed for him so much over the last two years? Well for a start he is a natural attacking midfielder and needed to learn a different role as a holding / defensive midfielder which was completely the opposite to the role he was use to.
We all remember when Thierry Henry came to Arsenal, he was a winger for Juventus when he arrived but was then transformed into one of the best strikers the Premier League has seen and it’s just the same with Lucas, he is now one of the best Defensive midfielders in the Premiership.
But the biggest transformation Lucas has managed to overcome is the one to win over the fans, he has silenced his critics and has become a fans favourite in the space of two years. Why you may ask? Simply because he gets the Liverpool thing, as fans we love a player who gives everything and someone who puts on the shirt and will fight for the cause.
He has managed to overcome all the negativity that was unfairly directed at him and overcome it by putting in consistent performances which has finally won over the Anfield faithful.
Lucas has now become a regular both for Liverpool and Brazil and we are proud of him and the even better news is that he young and on a long-term contract.
My friend Ben Granville said to me “Lucas is a beacon of light against adversity” and I totally agree with him.
The difference between Lucas and some other players that have been at Liverpool over the past few years is that he wanted to stay and fight for his place and prove he was a good player while others only wanted to fight for their wage packet.
So next time you watch the Reds take a look a Lucas as recognise he is a ” triunfo contra a adversidade”.