Heart problem ends Liverpool player's career

Former Liverpool and Lazio midfielder Lucas Leiva has announced his retirement from football due to a heart problem, bringing the curtain down on a 17-year professional career.

The 36-year-old made almost 600 appearances during his career, mostly in Europe, having joined Liverpool in 2007 before moving to Serie A in 2017 where he played five seasons with Lazio.

Leyva returned last summer to his boyhood club Gremio and made 17 appearances and scored three goals for the Brazilian team before being sidelined in December when he was diagnosed with a heart attack after routine check-ups.
Leyva told a news conference: "I sincerely thank Gremio for all the support he has given me over the last three months. Today I announce my retirement. It was a difficult period.

"I finished my career where I wanted but not the way I wanted to. But I trust that a new chapter will begin. My health comes first."

The Brazilian, who won the South American U-2007 Championship in 20, also earned 24 caps.