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Liverpool cult hero Lucas Leiva rejoins his boyhood club Gremio on a free transfer from Lazio

Liverpool cult hero Lucas Leiva returns to his youth club Gremio at the age of 35, admitting he ‘put aside my vanities and ego’ to sign following their relegation to the second tier of Brazilian football.

  • Lucas Leiva rejoins Gremio, the Brazilian side where he started his career
  • It’s a free transfer to the second tier after the end of his Lazio contract
  • Leiva was a cult hero at Liverpool and once won the Player of the Year award

Former Liverpool fan favorite Lucas Leiva has returned to his youth club Gremio on a free transfer at the age of 35.

Gremio is a second-tier team that plays in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and its move, revealed by the clubwill be quite a change for the defensive midfielder after leaving his last club Lazio.

Leiva played for Gremio between 2005 and 2007, when the club progressed to Serie A, before moving to Merseyside at the age of 20, where he became Liverpool’s Player of the Year for the 2010-11 season.

After 10 years at Anfield, where he won the 2012 League Cup, he moved to Lazio and played in Rome until his contract expires this summer.

Lucas Leiva has been unveiled by Gremio, the Brazilian Serie B squad he left 15 years ago

Lucas Leiva has been unveiled by Gremio, the Brazilian Serie B squad he left 15 years ago

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Leiva spent ten years at Anfield, earning their coveted Player of the Year award in 2010-11

Leiva admitted he had to put his pride aside to sign a one and a half year contract for Gremio, despite their relegation from the top flight last year.

At its unveiling by the club, as reported by This Is AnfieldLeiva told reporters, “Gremio was the beginning of the dream for me.

“In football sometimes we plan and we don’t work out, but it’s time to come back.

“For me it doesn’t matter where Gremio is, it’s about having the chance to represent this team that means so much to me.

“The club has made an effort to get me and I have made an effort to come back, the important thing is to put aside vanities and ego for a single goal, which is to return to Serie A.”

Leiva spoke on Instagram about his 'returning home' a decade and a half after leaving for Anfield

Leiva spoke on Instagram about his ‘returning home’ a decade and a half after leaving for Anfield

Gremio plays in strips that merge blue, black and white, hence the nickname ‘Tricolor’ used by the club and its supporters.

on Instagram, he said: ‘Tricolor fans, I came back 15 years later to help the club and the squad. Time to unite even more to realize this access to the elite of Brazilian football.”

Gremio vice president of football Denis Abrahao said Leiva had 'better proposals' elsewhere

Gremio vice president of football Denis Abrahao said Leiva had ‘better proposals’ elsewhere

Gremio vice president of football Denis Abrahao hinted that Leiva had gotten ‘better proposals’ from other unnamed clubs, but the Brazil international was eager to return to where his career began.

As a nice touch, he will wear the number 15 shirt for the club, the same number he wore in his first professional season 17 years ago.

The Brazilian transfer window opens on July 18, when he would be available again for Gremio.

The team is currently fourth in Serie B, which would be good enough to see them jump back to the top on the first try.

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