“Gremio” midfielder Lucas Leyva has announced that he will retire from football due to heart disease.
Lucas, 36, has not played since December when a routine medical revealed a heart problem.
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The former Liverpool player returned to Gremio, where he started his career, in July 2022 after 15 years in Europe.
“I thank Gremio for all their support in these three months,” an emotional Lucas said at a press conference on Friday. “I am announcing my retirement.
“It was a difficult period. It’s the first time I’ve cried in such a situation. I’m happy with everything in my career. I’m ending up where I want, but not the way I want.
“I am sure that the new cycle will start well. Thank you all for your patience. I had high hopes of getting it back, but it wasn’t to be. My health comes first.”
Lucas, who played 24 games for Brazil, joined Liverpool from Gremio in 2007.
He made 345 appearances for the Reds in his 10 seasons at the club.
Lucas was named Liverpool’s Young Player of the Year in 2010 and the Fans’ Player of the Year in 2011.
“We’re all with you, Lucas Leyva.” Liverpool wrote about it in a post on social media. “Congratulations on a wonderful career and we wish you the best in your next chapter.”
He joined Lazio in 2017 and has lifted the Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italias in his five seasons in Rome.
Gremio president Alberto Guerra has left the door open for Lucas to continue working at the club in a different role.