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Lucas Leiva signs new Liverpool deal

Apr 11, 2013, 10:02 AM EDT

Liverpool's Leiva celebrates Johnson's goal against West Ham United during English Premier League soccer match in London

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has signed a new long-term contract with the club, which will see him remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future.

The 26-year-old Brazilian released a statement on the club’s official website (www.liverpoolfc.com) on Wednesday to confirm the news:

“It’s another long-term contract that I have signed – but it was the same feeling as when I first came here.

“I am really delighted to have the opportunity to play for this club. It’s where I think I belong and where I wanted to stay, so I am very happy and looking forward to a few more years here.

“It was an easy decision because after the long period of my career I have had here, I would like to give the best of my time to this club. It was not a difficult decision to make and I am really looking forward to what will hopefully be a few more years with a lot of success.”

Lucas signed for Liverpool in 2007 from Brazilian club Gremio. After a difficult first few years at the club, which included booing in his direction from some Liverpool fans, he has become one of the key players in the team since 2010.

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A cruciate ligament injury against Chelsea in late 2011 ruled him out of action for many months, and his stock actually rose as a player while he was injured. This is because the fans suddenly realised what a great player he had become, and how much the team missed him in the side.

His ability to play the holding midfield role allows his more offensive teammates to strut their stuff higher up the pitch. The authority and balance he brings to the team is priceless, and his return to fitness has coincided with some great form from captain Steven Gerrard.

Lucas has made 208 appearances for Liverpool, scoring six times.

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