Lucas Leiva looked back at his time with Lazio, reflecting on his greatest memories, his relationship with Simone Inzaghi and Maurizio Sarri, and the various stars of the squad.
The 35-year-old Brazilian midfielder is leaving the Biancocelesti after five years next month when his contract expires, ending a successful and positive spell in Rome. Leiva won three trophies in the Italian capital and made 198 appearances for the club across all competitions, becoming a fan favourite for his consistent and solid performances.
Speaking to Radiosei (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Leiva first reflected on his long career and time with Lazio.
The word that comes to mind when I think of Lazio is rebirth. They were five wonderful years, we won three trophies, my first season was wonderful. Only good things, people treated me well straight away, it was very nice.
Liverpool was the team that brought me to Europe, it allowed me to fulfil a dream. I was there from 20 to 30. I played for three clubs in my career and I am happy with the bond I created. I hope it will be the same at my next club.
I was able to greet the fans at the Olimpico, it was nice in front of 55,000 people. I thank everyone, Rome will always be my home and who knows what will happen in the future.
I don’t think the relationship will end here, my children are happy here, a chapter ends but the relationship will go on full of affection and gratitude.
He looked back on some of his favourite moments from the five years with Lazio.
My first match in the Super Cup was beautiful and important. Then winning the Coppa Italia in 2019 was a great moment. The pandemic held us back, it didn’t allow us to fight for the Scudetto.
When we resumed we had injuries, but the pandemic took away our certainty and confidence, certainly without it we would have fought until the end another beautiful image is about the city of Rome and the people of Lazio.
The former Liverpool midfielder commented on his relationships with the two coaches he worked under in Rome, Inzaghi and Sarri.
With Inzaghi we created a strong relationship, one of trust, even friendship if you like. He allowed me to prove my value, he gave me all the trust I needed.
With Sarri I learned many new things, he is a bit more closed-minded, he understands a lot about football and I played 40-45 matches with him. It was a positive year and in the long run we came out on top.
Finally, Leiva discussed the qualities of some of Lazio’s current stars like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile.
Milinkovic-Savic improves every year, I am pleased to see him grow, now he has become a top-player. I have a brotherly relationship with Radu. He is the talisman of Lazio, he has always been close to me.
Immobile is really strong. The numbers speak for themselves, he found in Lazio the right environment to exploit his qualities. It was a perfect marriage, he feels important, they made him feel loved. He still has a lot to do.