Lucas Leiva: Difficult start at Liverpool made me stronger
Lucas Leiva has revealed that the difficult start to his career at Liverpool ultimately helped him improve as a player.
The 25-year-old struggled to settle in at Anfield when he arrived from Grêmio in 2007, with his performances on the pitch drawing a lot of criticism from the majority of Liverpool fans.
''It was hard for me when I came, I was a young boy and had no idea about the Premier League, the way football was played here, the culture, the city,'' Lucas told the club's official website. ''Everything was a big change for me.
''Many times I thought maybe my life here was finished but I always felt something different that told me to keep going, to keep trying to change the opinions, and I think people started to realise the work I was putting into the games.
''Maybe it was not working how I wanted or how you wanted, but as soon as people started to realise I was trying everything I could, people started to give me more credit. That's when I felt everything was changing.
''That period made me stronger and made me realise where I was. Every day of my life I try to give my best for this club, because I really know how big this club is and how much people, the supporters, expect.
''I think I can handle anything that happens now.
''There is an expression in Brazil which says 'We're Brazilian, we never give up'. I think I followed that very well.
''It's a different situation today and I am enjoying it.''
Lucas picked up a thigh injury during Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Manchester City in August and is not expected to return to action for several months.