Lucas has no regrets over Liverpool exit after growing unhappy at Anfield

The Brazilian midfielder departed Merseyside in the summer of 2017, with a 10-year spell in England brought to a close when heading for Lazio

Lucas Leiva has no regrets at having brought a decade-long spell with Liverpool to a close in 2017, with the Brazilian admitting that he “wasn’t happy” at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s methods started to pay dividends.

The versatile 33-year-old, who took in 346 appearances for the Reds, opted to take on a new challenge at Lazio when an exit door opened on Merseyside.

A year after his departure, Liverpool booked a Champions League final date with Real Madrid.

In 2019, they conquered Europe before going on to add UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup crowns to their collection – while also establishing domestic dominance in the Premier League.

Lucas could be forgiven for feeling that he walked away too soon, but he insists that is not the case.

He told Liverpool’s official website: “The year after I left, we lost in the [Champions League] final. I met the boys here in Rome [for the 2018 semi-final]. But, of course, [to win it] I was really happy, to be honest.

“My son, my family, we are Liverpool fans now.

“It’s a great achievement and I’m just really happy because so many people there I am still in touch with and still care a lot about.

“Of course, you always think, ‘Had I waited one more year…’ but, to be honest, I wasn’t happy. When you are not happy it makes no sense so, to be honest, it’s better I see Liverpool winning and I’m happy as well playing.

“As a fan I’m really happy. Of course, I would like to have won it but I won it as a fan, let’s say.”

Lucas moved on after seeing his game time limited under Klopp, with the groundwork being put in place for future success, but the South American remains a big fan of the current Liverpool boss.

He added: “I learned a lot with him, a lot.

“I played centre-back; I wouldn’t say I wasn’t happy but it’s not my position, but I learned when you work hard you have to be patient, something that my career at Liverpool was always like this – patience, keep proving, keep going and don’t give up.

“With Jurgen it was always the same. He treated me with respect, and especially when it was the time for me to move on and he was really good. He gave me confidence and the freedom to choose to move to Italy.

“We are still in touch. We send messages. I learned a lot and he’s a guy that is very open, very honest and that’s really important as well.”