Liverpool’s Lucas: Xabi Alonso has been a role model for me

Lucas Leiva admits he continues to watch and learn from ex-Liverpool star Xabi Alonso at Real Madrid

xabi alonso
Xabi Alonso joined Real Madrid from Liverpool in 2009 Photo: Jan S0L0

xabi alonso

Lucas Leiva believes watching former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso play has helped him improve his game.

The pair played together until the Spain international sealed a move to Real Madrid in 2009 – but that has not stopped Lucas from learning from the Spaniard.

“Xabi Alonso is a player I always watch and try to learn from,” said Lucas. “I had a few years with him here and I could see how good he was. Xabi would be my choice [as role model] at the moment.”

The Brazilian, 24, joined the Reds in 2007 for £5m from Gremio, having built a reputation as an attacking midfielder in South America.

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez opted to play him in a holding role, but since the arrival of Kenny Dalglish, Lucas feels his function in the Liverpool side has evolved.

“I’ve changed in all ways. Everyone knows I used to play further forward on the pitch,” Lucas told Liverpool’s website.

“I had to adapt to a new style of game, a new pace, more physical. I think I’ve adapted well and I’m really enjoying my role in the team.”

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