Lucas Leiva Says People in Liverpool Have Same Hospitality As People In His Home Town


Lucas LeivaIn an interview with Liverpool’s official monthly magazine, Lucas Leiva chatted about Christmas in Brazil, adjusting to the British weather and how the people of his hometown Porto Alegre compare with Scousers.

Here are some of the best bits from the interview:

Lucas on weather and the British seasons …

“In England we have the autumn and the winter with the leaves falling down. In Brazil you don’t really have that, you just have winter and summer, so it’s nice to experience the different seasons here and times of the year. Now in Brazil, it is getting towards the summer and the end of the football season and it’s really warm. When we finish the season here in England it is winter in Brazil, so you go from cold here to more cold back there! But I’ve always said that the weather cannot be more important than your life.”

On Christmas …

“It’s the same as back home — a very important time in my country. We normally celebrate at night on December 24. After 12 o’clock we give each other presents and have a very nice dinner and then the next day it’s a lunch like in England. My best present ever was ‘Autorama,’ when I was younger — the remote-controlled cars that you build tracks for.”

On his hometown Porto Alegre …

“I wouldn’t say it’s similar to Liverpool. It’s a much bigger city, around two million people and very busy. Here we don’t have too much traffic. You can live in areas where it’s very relaxed and you can have a quiet life, escape a little bit. But the hospitality is the same. Like in Liverpool, the people are warm. If you are away from home, they want to make you feel comfortable.”

On Brazil …

“Where I’m from in the south is only an hour-and-a-half [by air] from Montevideo and Buenos Aires, and I’m probably five hours away from the north of Brazil. We could divide Brazil into maybe two or three countries because in the north they have their own culture, their own cuisine, and if you go to where I’m from, it’s completely different.”

On teammates …

“Where I’m from, the people are different and the culture is more similar to Uruguay and Argentina. This helped with getting to know Luis Suarez and Seb Coates and Maxi before them. When I first came to Liverpool I only spoke Portuguese, but Rafa [Benitez] was the manager and I became good friends with players like Alvaro Arbeloa, and I learned Spanish so it was easier to understand them. Now it has helped Luis and Seba to settle in.”

On the 2014 World Cup …

“People are looking at Brazil in a different way from five years ago which shows how important the country is for the world at the moment. So I’m excited and really hoping to be in the World Cup squad and looking forward to watching the Olympics when it will be winter in Rio but still nice weather. It’s a privilege to have both tournaments in our country.”

On making the transition from attacking to defensive midfielder …

“I used to play in a very offensive position for Gremio but when (former Gremio manager) Mano Menezes, the Brazil manager, called me up for the national team, he knew I was playing as a more defensive midfielder for Liverpool. He didn’t want me to be the player I was at Gremio. I’m happy in this position now. It was the way that I felt comfortable in the Premier League and you have to adapt.”

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