Such is the level of support that Lucas Leiva received during his two injury lay-offs, the Brazilian midfielder has revealed that he cannot imagine himself ever playing for another club.

After truly establishing himself in the engine room of the Reds' team during the 2010-11 campaign, the 26-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The problem ruined his season and was cruelly followed by a further setback when the popular No.21 attempted to complete a return at the opening stages of Brendan Rodgers' tenure.

Happily, Lucas can now boast 100 per cent fitness; but that has not stopped him from reflecting on the help he was offered at more difficult times, and what it means for his future.

"The club was amazing to me, supporters met me on the street and told me that things were going to be okay," the Brazil international told The Guardian.

"And all the support I received then is the reason why I don't really see myself playing for any other club if I have the choice. I'd love to have my testimonial at Anfield.

"I have played under four managers at Liverpool and I am grateful for everything they have taught me.

"The thing with Brendan Rodgers is that he was here during the worst time of my career. His encouragement was crucial for me to come back from a bad place."

Another figure who performed a vital role in aiding Lucas' recovery was Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, with whom the midfielder has now shared a dressing room for more than six years.

He added: "When I was injured he sat down to talk to me a couple of times and was very encouraging. He is a vital player for this club.

"He is a legend at Liverpool and it is easy to see why he is also the England captain. He is also not as serious as people seem to think and I'm delighted to be playing alongside him."

Lucas has been an integral member of Rodgers' starting XI during 2013-14 to date, only missing the recent clash with Crystal Palace due to a cumulative one-match suspension.


The Reds travel to Newcastle on Saturday sitting joint-top of the Barclays Premier League table and while he does allow his mind to wander to Champions League dreams, the midfielder is remaining realistic.

He added: "We have obviously got some encouraging results from the first games and no-one will complain about being top of the table. But we would be silly to get too excited after seven games.

"The Premier League is a long and tough journey and we just have to look at our defeat to Southampton to see that. But ask me again how I feel in January, because that's when we will really know what we can achieve this season.

"I don't see why we should get ahead of ourselves. The race for the top four will be extremely close this year and I still think we are underdogs, given how much money some of our opponents have invested.

"Liverpool are still a massive institution in English and European football and we need to get back into the Champions League. Those nights are unforgettable for players and supporters. It's about time we all felt that buzz again."