Lucas Leiva: I came close to quitting Liverpool under Roy Hodgson
Liverpool's Lucas Leiva reveals he almost left the Reds during Roy Hodgson's reign in 2010 before blossoming at Anfield
Lucas Leiva has revealed he almost left Liverpool during Roy Hodgson’s reign at Anfield in 2010.
Hodgson signed experienced Denmark international Christian Poulsen from Juventus after succeeding Rafael Benítez, a move that looked set to spell the end of Lucas’s career at the Reds.
However, the Brazil international won his place back before Kenny Dalglish, who replaced Hodgson in January 2011, made Lucas a key part of the Liverpool side.
“I felt as though it was almost the end for me at the club,” Lucas told the Liverpool Echo.
“I nearly left. I knew they were looking for players. They signed Christian Poulsen at the time, and that was a message for me, that I was not really in
“So I was really close to leaving to go to Italy. For some reason I did not go, I stayed. After a few games, I got my place back in the team and I started to play a bit more. Then Kenny came in.
“I really started to play with a lot of confidence and at the end of the year I was voted Player of the Season by the fans. So that moment was very important.”
The 26-year-old has scored six goals in 206 appearances for the Merseyside outfit after a £5m move to Liverpool from Gremio in 2007.
And Lucas admitted it was a daunting prospect arriving at Anfield and fighting for a first-team place with Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alosno, Javier Mascherano and Momo Sissoko.
“For me to come here and to try to get into the team competing against Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano and Sissoko was very hard,” he added.
“I left Brazil in a really good situation and here I was sometimes not even on the bench and out of the squad. It was a difficult period for me but I think it was worth it. Today I realise how important it was for me to have that struggle because it taught me to work hard.
He added: “A lot of people come now and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry I used to doubt you and used to boo you. I’m sorry, I was wrong’.