Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva retires from football at 36 due to a heart condition
Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva announced his retirement from football at the age of 36 due to a heart condition.
Leiva, who brought curtains down on his 17-year professional career, played nearly 600 games in his club career. He spent the majority of his time in Europe after being signed by Liverpool in 2007. In 2017, Leiva moved to Lazio and played in Italy’s Serie A for five seasons.
Leiva came back to his boyhood club Gremio, making 17 appearances and scoring three goals for the side before getting sidelined in December 2022 as he was diagnosed with a heart issue after routine tests. Leiva also represented Brazil as he earned 24 international caps.
“I would like to thank Gremio for all the support in these three months. Today I am announcing my retirement. It’s been a difficult period,” Leiva said.
“I’m ending where I’d like, not the way I’d like. But I’m sure a new cycle will begin. I had a lot of hope that it could reverse, but it was not the case. My health comes first.”
Leiva also penned an emotional note on Instagram, saying: “The day has come to say goodbye to the field. I confess that it came from greater forces, but I look back and can only be thankful for the career I built.
“In 2007 I transferred to the giant [that is] Liverpool, which was part of my life for 10 years. It is with great pride that I can say that today Liverpool is my home. I’m proud to be an English citizen and along with my family; I’m Scouser!”
Leiva won the League Cup in 2012 despite missing out on the final due to a long-term injury. He also helped Liverpool in the run to the Reds’ Europa League final in 2016. At Lazio, Leiva won the 2019 Coppa Italia medal.