Lucas Leiva: 'I feel like I was born in Liverpool'
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has told Brazilian media giant Globo that he "feels at home" in the city, having come through early problems at the club to become one of the Reds' key players.
Lucas, 25, is a well respected figure among Liverpool fans and has previously spoken of his love for the club that have helped him through a couple of lengthy recent injuries.
This time, though, the former Grêmio player went a step further on this occasion, insisting that he now regards the city as a second-home.
"I really feel at home. At times, I feel like I was born in Liverpool," Lucas told Globo Esporte. "I arrived very young and the crowed really welcomed me.
"I had a difficult start in terms of adaptation, they had some doubts. But, now it is easy to see that they regard me as one of the leaders of the team—a key piece.
"I had to prove myself, even of being Brazilian. They think of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo, those guys with a bit of magic. I am not that type of player.
"I'm a guy who the crowd don't see often, all of a sudden, but who is important to the team and system. However, I think that my injury also helped everyone to realise that what I do is important."
Lucas will hope for a strong second half to the season at Liverpool, with the prospect of a place in the Brazil squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup next summer as a reward for his efforts.