Lucas Leiva: Sami Hyypia was a role model for me at Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says former Reds defender Sami Hyypia was a role model for the club's youngsters

lucas leiva
Lucas Leiva suffered a serious knee injury at Chelsea in November Photo: Standard Chartered

lucas leiva

Lucas Leiva has revealed he looked up to Sami Hyypia as a role model for him at Liverpool as the Bayer Leverkusen manager returns to Anfield for a pre-season friendly on Sunday.

The 38-year-old former Reds captain, who made 464 appearances for the Merseysiders after joining the club in 1999, helped Liverpool win a famous treble in 2001 and the Champions League crown in 2005.

Hyypia, who left Anfield three years ago, was named as Leverkusen’s permanent manager in May – and Lucas has backed his former team-mate to be a success at the Bundesliga club.

“He is a great professional and he was a great player. In the dressing room, he was the one who kept everyone together, especially the young players,” Lucas told Liverpool’s website.

“He would try to advise you, try to give you confidence that you can go out on the pitch and do what you normally do in the training sessions.

“He was like a model for us and for me, and I am excited to meet him. Now he is in a new role and we hope he will be as successful as a manager as he was as a player.”

Lucas added: “We knew he had a lot of knowledge about tactics, positions and everything, so we knew that he would be a manager.

“Maybe it was quicker than we thought, but credit to him and I am delighted to see him being appointed as a manager for a big club already and at such a young age as well.”

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