Liverpool midfielder Lucas: I'm more complete player

Lucas Leiva says moving to Liverpool has made him a more complete player. The midfielder arrived on Merseyside as an attacking midfielder, but now spends his time in a holding role.

Lucas Leiva says moving to Liverpool has made him a more complete player.

The midfielder arrived on Merseyside as an attacking midfielder, but now spends his time in a holding role.

He told FIFA.com: "I was 20 when I arrived in English football back in 2007. I was coming from Gremio, where I'd already had first-team football.

"I felt as if I was moving at 50km/hour while everyone else on the field was at 100. I wasn't prepared for that and needed to develop both physically and tactically. That's why many players choose not to go directly from Brazil to England. In Spain and Portugal, and even in Italy, the pace of the game is different.

"So much so, in fact, that early on I performed better in Champions League games than in the Premiership. In terms of the speed of the game, it was like going from one extreme to the other. With Gremio I carried an element of surprise, and on many occasions operated practically as a central midfielder.

"However, due to the pace of the Premier League, I changed positions. Even though I was 20, I couldn't cope with the demands of joining the attacks and tracking back all game long. Benitez soon realised that I felt more comfortable playing in a deeper role, winning back possession and starting attacks.

"Nowadays I'm so comfortable with this position that it feels like I've always operated in it.

"I am, without question, a more complete player now because, should the match scenario require it, I can even play a more attacking role."

 
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