Lucas Leiva told that Liverpool come first ahead of World CupThe 27-year-old is battling for a place in Liverpool's starting line-up
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has told the Brazilian midfielder that Liverpool's title dream has to come before his World Cup hopes.
Lucas Leiva is desperate to get back into the Reds starting line-up to press his claims for a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad.
However, the brilliance of Steven Gerrard in the holding role has meant that Lucas has been consigned to the bench since his return from a serious knee injury.
While his manager is sympathetic to the 27-year-old’s situation and would dearly love the Brazilian to represent his country on home soil this summer, he admitted he can't let sentiment get in the way of Liverpool's title quest.
"I respect all the players and their needs but I want what's best for Liverpool and can only think of Liverpool," the Reds boss explained.
"I know it's been hard for Lucas because since he got his injury the team has done really well in his absence. Steven in that role is a world-class operator."
"The difference now is that rather than playing with two defensive midfield players we are playing with one. There is more emphasis on the attacking element."
"Hopefully it won't hinge on that because I think he's already done enough to get in the squad for the World Cup."
Rodgers was full of praise for Lucas since his return from injury.
"I have to pay homage to Lucas because he's been first class with his attitude and his work - he's been absolutely incredible."
"He has made it known to me that he just wants to help whenever he's called upon - whether it's for one minute or 90 minutes he will be ready."