Ex-Lazio Midfielder Lucas Leiva: ‘I Could’ve Died on the Pitch’

Lucas Leiva opened up about his forced retirement, the comparisons between Maurizio Sarri and Simone Inzaghi, and the potential of Marcos Antonio.

The former Biancocelesti midfielder was forced to retire earlier this month due to a heart condition, which was found during routine tests.

Lucas Leiva spent five years with Lazio from 2017 to 2022, becoming a fan favourite across his 198 appearances for the club. He helped the team win two Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia.

Speaking to Il Messaggero (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Lucas Leiva first discussed his forced retirement and health concerns.

I had this surprise, but I try to see the positive side, at least my health is fine. If I hadn’t found out, I could have died on the pitch.

He gave his thoughts on the comparisons between Inzaghi and Sarri.

Sarri is a football connoisseur, sometimes you need time to understand him. Everywhere he has gone he has won. Then if the team has a clear identity, I don’t see why not bet on him for a long time.

Inzaghi is an extraordinary person, he has many qualities that people don’t see.

Finally, Lucas Leiva discussed Marcos Antonio’s first season in Rome and why the club should maintain faith.

He’s different from me, it’s wrong to draw comparisons, he’s more of a possession-based player. He’s had difficulties that I didn’t imagine, but you can see he has great potential.

Marcos Antonio was an exciting signing for Lazio when he arrived last summer from Shakhtar Donetsk, but he’s failed to live up to that hype, seeing just 306 minutes of action across 11 Serie A appearances.

Tags Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Leiva Lucas Leiva Marcos Antonio Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A