Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says that he knew the club would enjoy success under Jürgen Klopp.
Brazil international Lucas spent 10 years at Anfield after being brought to Merseyside by Rafa Benítez in 2007. During his last two years at the club, Lucas got to experience the beginning of a Red revolution under Klopp.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager five years ago today. Lucas, speaking on LFCTV’s special five-year anniversary episode of Extra Time this week, revealed the respect he has for Klopp and how he knew the German would lead the club back to the very top.
“When I left the club I was 100 per cent sure a great moment was coming. You could feel [it].
“I could feel that things were changing. I was sure it would come but you never know when, because you’re playing against so many good teams. It’s not easy to predict.
“But I could feel that Liverpool were going to come back, winning important things. Of course, the Premier League was always the first target, let’s say, every season. I could feel that, yes.
“When he arrived, for me it was a new start. That’s how I felt. Slowly, I started to understand more the way he wanted us to play. Of course, I played in different positions.
“He was a great manager for me, I learned a lot. I played for him for two years, two seasons, but it was enough to learn a lot and also understand that the way he wanted to play, maybe for me was going to be more difficult.
“That’s why we have this great relationship until today – because he always treated me with so much respect and I tried to do the same.”
Lucas also spoke about the games that stand out in his memory as playing a huge part in shaping Liverpool’s progression in Klopp’s first season at the club (2015/16).
“The win against Man City, 4-1, is one of the games that I remember well. That game started to show a little bit how the team would play.
“Of course, there are so many others. The Dortmund game was incredible. Also the final of the Europa League – we lost but it was special.
“If you look back now, it was not great to lose but it helped, I think, to make the mentality better and go on for another title, which happened after two years in the Champions League. These two games I remember most.”
Lucas still plays with Lazio in Serie A but will also be considered an honorary Scouser after his decade at the club.
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