Born: January 9, 1987 (25) Hometown: Dourados, Brazil
Height: 5’10” Position: Defensive Midfielder Number: 21
Brought to Liverpool in the summer of 2007 by then manager Rafael Benitez from Brazilian club Gremio, Lucas Leiva was initially an attacking player. Recognized for his work rate and ability to break down opposing attacks, Lucas eventually cemented his value as a defensive midfield cog for the Reds.
The Brazilian is coming off of ACL surgery following a ligament tear in a collision with Chelsea’s Juan Mata in a 2-0 win in last year’s Carling Cup quarterfinal. He is feared to have torn a thigh muscle in Liverpoll’s second game this season, against Manchester City and may miss two months.
Once overlooked on Liverpool’s team sheet early in his career, Lucas has grown into his role as the team’s midfield stalwart. Following the 2010-2011 campaign, captain Steven Gerrard called the Brazilian, “Our best player of the season.”
Honors: English League Cup (2012), Olympic Bronze Medal (Brazil, 2008)