Lucas Leiva is closing in on a landmark as he prepares to celebrate a decade at Liverpool.
The Brazilian has been an outstanding servant to this club and, regardless of uncertainty surrounding his future, has grown to cement his place as a firm fan favourite.
So much is said about a lack of loyalty in modern day football but Lucas is an example that it still exists, posing as the perfect role model for upcoming Reds in terms of realising what a privilege it is to play for Liverpool and what kind of attitude is required to be a success at Anfield.
Rumours linking him to a move away from Merseyside have cropped up time and time again over the past few years but the 30-year-old is proud of his commitment to the club, even if he did consider fulfilling what was being reported by the media.
“I am really proud. It is not normal for a foreign player to be at the same club for 10 years. It is a massive achievement,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Of course in this journey, you have a lot of ups and downs, challenges and difficult moments. But I think it’s helped me a lot as a person, as a player as well. At times I probably wanted to leave, but it didn’t work for the club. Then sometimes the club might have wanted me to go but it wasn’t the right opportunity for me. But one thing I never doubted was the respect the club had for me, and I for them.”
“I have never been in a rush to leave. I know at some point it will happen [Lucas has a year left on his contract] and it will be the best for both sides. As I said, the respect is there, and the fans as well. That is what I wanted to achieve when I first came in and I think I have achieved that.”
Not a single Red will blame him for considering moving on elsewhere. The offer of regular first team football is something every professional footballer must bare in mind and prioritise at times. It’s the fact he didn’t opt for that path, though, that has seen him become Liverpool’s adopted Scouser.
He is part of the city now and the culture and spirit that comes with it. Any suggestions that he may be on his way out of the club are met with upset and disappointment from supporters who simply don’t want to see the back of him, no matter what kind of form he is in at the time.
No matter what decision is made regarding his future, we only want the very best for a man that has put his body on the line for Liverpool and given absolutely everything during his time here.