Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish has sent an emotional message to former Reds player Lucas Leiva, who has been forced to retire due to a heart condition.
After the medical issue was detected whilst playing for Brazilian side Gremio, the 36-year-old announced he would be hanging his boots up in a tearful press conference.
“I’m ending where I’d like, not the way I’d like. I had a lot of hope that it could reverse, but it was not the case. My health comes first,” said Lucas, as relayed by BBC Sport.
Tributes poured in for the Anfield fan-favourite. Receiving condolences from some of Liverpool’s greatest ever players, he even received a heart-warming message from Sir Kenny Dalglish on Twitter.
“Lucas – I hope everything is OK,” wrote Dalglish.
“The respect you have in Liverpool is truly genuine.
“We are all here if we can be of any help whatsoever, and we wish you luck in your next chapter.
“These pictures speak louder than any words. YNWA.”
Dalglish sends message to Lucas
After an incredible career in football, it’s sad to see Lucas forced into retirement by a health scare.
Joining Liverpool in 2008, the midfielder spent nine years at Anfield, during which he made 346 appearances for the club.
Eventually leaving to join Lazio, the Brazilian always remained a keen fan of the Reds – proud to have adopted his family as Scousers.
The message from Dalglish certifies Lucas’ status as a Liverpool hero, as it couldn’t come from a more iconic figure at the club.
Going forward, it would be great to see the 36-year-old pursue a coaching career.
Whether that will happen awaits to be seen, but his likeability as a player would surely come through as a manager as well – showing parallels to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.