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Lucas Leiva

Brazil international Lucas Leiva signed for Liverpool in July 2007.

The midfielder's arrival from Gremio was seen as quite a coup for Rafa Benitez, with a host of European clubs apparently circling.

Having broken onto the scene in October 2005, Lucas soon became the youngest player ever to win the Bola de Ouro. The honour is given to the best player in the Campeonato Brasileiro and has previously been won by Zico, Romario, Kaka and Carlos Tevez.

The youngster, nephew of former Brazilian footballer Leivinha, captained his country's U20s to the South American Youth Championship title in 2007, scoring four goals in the process.

No wonder senior coach Dunga was starting to take note. He actually selected the box-to-box midfielder against Al-Kuwait in October 2006, but the game was not an official FIFA tie and so did not count as his international debut. That came a month into his Liverpool career in August 2007 when he came on as a substitute in a friendly with Algeria.

Lucas, who also holds an Italian passport, made his Reds bow as a second-half sub in a Champions League qualifier against Toulouse on August 28, 2007.

The Brazilian notched up more than 30 appearances in his debut season, breaking his Anfield duck in style with a 25-yard curler in the FA Cup against Havant and Waterlooville.

Lucas was absent for the start of 2008-09 after travelling to the Olympics in Beijing, where he claimed bronze after a semi-final defeat to Javier Mascherano's Argentina.

The No.21 tallied a further 39 appearances during his second season at Anfield despite stiff competition from Mascherano and Xabi Alonso. The highlight came when he stood in for the latter as Liverpool thrashed title rivals Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford in March 2009.



Player
Lucas Leiva
Date of Birth
09/01/1987
Place of Birth
Dourados, Brazil
Signed
11 May 2007
Cost
6750000
Signed From
Gremio
Other Teams
Gremio
International Side
Brazil U21
Height
1.73M
Position
Midfielder
Squad No.
21
Debut
Vs Toulouse 28 August 2007
First Goal
26/01/2008 V Havant & Waterlooville
Last Goal
16/09/2010 V Steaua Bucharest
Total Goals
6

All Content from the Official Liverpool FC Website