Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 36-year-old had already stepped away from the sport after a heart issue was detected last year by his boyhood club Gremio.
He now says his health must come first and that he is proud to have played for Liverpool in a distinguished career.
We're all with you, @LucasLeiva87.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 17, 2023
Congratulations on a brilliant career and we wish you the very best in your next chapter ❤️
"The day has come to say goodbye to the field,” he said in a statement. “I confess that it came from greater forces, but I look back and can only be thankful for the career I built.
“In 2007 I transferred to the giant [that is] Liverpool, which was part of my life for 10 years. It is with great pride that I can say that today Liverpool is my home. I'm proud to be an English citizen and along with my family, I'm Scouser!”
Lucas made 247 Premier League appearances, the fourth-most by a Brazilian in the competition’s history. He represented his country 24 times.
He played across 10 seasons for Liverpool, joining them in 2007 and departing as a club legend to join Lazio six years ago.
"Even though he's not going to be at Liverpool anymore he is leaving a legacy behind," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said at the time.
"He set the standards of what it is to be a Liverpool player and by doing that he gave all of us an example to follow."