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
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.”