LIVERPOOL cult hero Lucas Leiva has returned to youth club Gremio on a free transfer.
And this despite the fact that the samba giants were relegated to the second Brazilian division last year.
Leiva, 35, was available for free after his Lazio contract expired.
The presenter spent 10 years at Liverpool between 2007 and 2017, making 346 appearances.
And he followed with 198 games in five years in Italy.
Before his decade at Liverpool, Leiva made his mark in football with Brazilian team Gremio.
And life has closed after he signed an 18-month deal to rejoin them this week.
Leiva chose Gremio over other proposals despite their relegation to Brazil’s second tier last year.
He said: “‘In football sometimes we plan and it doesn’t work out, but the time has come to come back.
“It doesn’t matter to me where Gremio is, what matters is the opportunity to represent this team that means so much to me.
Most read in the Premier League
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP OFFERS – THE BEST DEALS FOR NEW CUSTOMERS
“The club made an effort to bring me back and I made an effort to return. The most important thing is to put vanity and selfishness aside for one goal, which is to return to Serie A.”
Leiva added in an Instagram post to fans: “I WENT BACK! Suddenly it’s not new anymore.
“But I made a point of letting my exes know who helped me on my journey until I got home.
“Tricolor fans, I came back 15 years later to help the club and the player group.
“It’s time to work even more together to achieve that entry into the elite of Brazilian football.
“Let’s go together, because Gremio is our FOCUS.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5663079/lucas-leiva-liverpool-gremio-lazio-transfer/ Liverpool’s cult hero Lucas Leiva is moving to second-rate youth club Gremio in Brazil on a free transfer after leaving Lazio at the age of 35