Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he believes former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva could now become a manager.
Lucas was forced to retire from playing earlier this year, having been diagnosed with a heart issue. Aged thirty-six, the Brazilian clearly wanted to continue his career. Unfortunately for him though, he couldn’t go out on his own terms.
What his retirement has brought though, is a lot of goodwill from everyone associated with Liverpool. Lucas may not have been the most glamourous player in the Reds history, but he’s still hugely appreciated on Merseyside.
One of those leading the well-wishes has, of course, been Klopp. The German coached Lucas for a season-and-a-half at Anfield, in which time he clearly made an impression. Speaking in a video on Liverpool’s Twitter page, Klopp aired his belief that Lucas could now transition into a manager.
“I can see you as a manager, but maybe you should not try to work in Brazil because they change their managers a lot!” advised the Reds boss. “If you want to work a bit longer, then you can go to England or Italy or wherever you want to go because you speak so many languages.
“And whenever you pass England, you know you are more than welcome to come here and have a great chat about our history, the history of the club, and what is going on. I’m really looking forward to that. Best regards to your family. See you soon, my friend.”
Lucas shares Klopp anecdote
What a good man our gaffer is. This isn’t just nice, empty platitudes from Jurgen, you can feel the genuine warmth he has for Lucas through the video.
Even nicer to see is Lucas’ reaction. Although he wasn’t at Anfield for too long under the 55-year-old – and didn’t play all that much – he obviously built a great rapport with Jurgen.
“Jurgen is very special, you could feel his presence,” said the former Brazil international. “A very open guy. One day I went to his office to speak with him, I wasn’t happy with something. He said ‘Lucas, I can tell you what I think, not what you want to hear.’ From that day for me he was the man.
“The way he managed the club and the group, it was unique. He always said ‘I am your friend but not your best friend.’ As soon as he arrived we could feel that something was changing for good and he proved that he was the right man.”
As well as speaking to Jurgen’s qualities, that little anecdote also says much about Lucas. Some players might have become upset with a manager openly speaking his mind, but he welcomed it completely.
With this kind of attitude – and compliments from the likes of Kenny Dalglish too – you can certainly see Lucas moving into coaching. As a player he always seemed to have a good tactical brain. Having been one of only two players to have worked under Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, he’s certainly had the right teachers. All the best, Lucas, we’ll be watching on whatever your next move!
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