Lucas Pezzini Leiva
(born January 9, 1987 in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul) is a Brazilian football (soccer) midfielder. He uses the name Lucas on the back of his shirt. He is nephew of the former Brazilian football player Leivinha and holds an Italian passport.
Lucas started his career with Gremio, making his first team debut on October 22, 2005 in a 1-0 win over Nautico in Serie B. Gremio went on to win the league that season, gaining promotion to the top tier of Brazilian football.
2006 was a successful year for Lucas and Gremio, winning the Rio Grande do Sul state championship (the Campeonato Gaúcho) for the first time since 2001, and also coming third in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. Lucas also became the youngest player to ever to receive Placar magazine's Bola de Ouro (Golden Ball), given to the best player in the Campeonato Brasileiro — an honour previously won by the likes of Zico, Falcao, Careca, Romario, Kaka and Tevez.
In October 2006 Lucas was brought into the senior Brazilian squad for friendlies against Kuwaiti club Al-Kuwait and Ecuador. Lucas was both the youngest member and one of only two non-Europe-based players in a strong squad. He made his debut for Brazil on October 7, 2006 coming on as a second half substitute against Al-Kuwait. Brazil won the match 4-0. However, this appearance does not count as his first cap as the match was not considered an official friendly match by FIFA.
His form in 2006 led to reported interest from many major European clubs including Palermo, Inter, Juventus, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona.
Lucas is the current captain of the Brazilian Under-20 team. He helped the team to victory in the 2007 South American Youth Championship, scoring 4 goals in the process. He is expected to again lead the team in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be contested in Canada in July 2007.
On May 13, 2007 Liverpool confirmed the acquisition of Lucas and will join the club from Gremio in time for the start of the 2007-08 season The transfer fee is rumoured to be worth in the region of €10 million. Lucas will remain with Gremio until the end of their 2007 Copa Libertadores campaign.
Upon signing with Liverpool, Lucas has been dubbed "the Brazilian Gerrard" by some fans due to the similarity of his playing style with Liverpool's current captain, Steven Gerrard.
(Information from Wiki)Honours
o Campeonato Brasileiro Série B: 2005
o Campeonato Gaúcho: 2006, 2007
o 2007 South American U-20 Championship
o Bola de Ouro (Brazilian Footballer of the year): 2007Video Compilation of some of his best goals (4 mins 11 secs)
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