LUCAS WANTS FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has said that he is looking to return to the first-team action as soon as possible. The Brazilian midfielder has been absent from the first-team in the second half of the season. He has been a major miss for Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish in the hopes of finishing in the top four, which would have provided them the opportunity to take part in the Champions League after two seasons without the top-level European football. However, it has been recently revealed that Lucas Leiva is close to returning to full fitness, which will allow him to take part in the pre-season tour for Liverpool.

Lucas Leiva was injured in a league cup match with Chelsea back in December. He has been recuperating from the injury for the last six months. He has recently revealed that he is close to returning to full fitness. Even though he has been criticised by the Liverpool fans in the past, Lucas Leiva was extremely influential in the Liverpool team during the first half of the campaign. The Brazil international was a £ 5 million signing by Rafael Benitez back in 2007. He has made more than 120 appearances for the club in the last few seasons.

"I'm in the final stage of my recovery. I've been recovering for six months. I am currently in the physical stage, aiming to be back for pre-season, so that I can be back on the pitch as soon as possible," said Lucas Leiva in an interview given to the Liverpool news website. The 25-year-old is once again expected to be a key member of the Liverpool team especially given that the fitness of Steven Gerrard is once again likely to be a major issue. The 32-year-old is coming to the end of his glittering career.

RONALDO DESERVES WORLD AWARD

Jose Mourinho has declared that his star man, Cristiano Ronaldo, is more worthy of the World Player of the year award for 2012 than Lionel Messi. Messi has won the award the last three years, but Mourinho has tipped Ronaldo as more deserving of the title when it is next awarded.

Mourinho’s claims are based around the impact that Ronaldo has had on Real’s La Liga success this year. Despite Messi outscoring Ronaldo, the argument goes that scoring 46 league goals in a team that won the title should be enough to win the Ballon d’Or award. His impact was enough to guide Real to the league title, whereas Barca and Messi finished a distant second and their only hope of silverware in 2012 comes in the Copa Del Rey final next week.

The Special One declared that “Cristiano has to win the Ballon d’Or, not because he has been the top goalscorer, he was that already last season, but because his goals have delivered a title.”

He went on to claim that Messi’s 50 goals, as with Ronaldo’s 42 last year(when he won the top scorer award), “weren’t worth anything” as they did not contribute towards a league title. His argument has ground in that Ronaldo was indeed top scorer in La Liga last season, and outscored Messi in all competitions too. Yet it was Messi who ran out with the Ballon d’Or, in a season that he and Barca picked up the La Liga and Champions Leageu titles.

Mourinho himself has now won seven league titles in four different countries. He believes that this season’s efforts have been the finest achievement of his career to date. With Spain seen as having Europe’s top two sides at the moment, as well as the world’s top two players it is understandable why. To overcome Barca must make any victory ever sweeter.

LUCAS HAS ANKLE SURGERY

After being confirmed to be out of action until the end of the season, Lucas Leiva has undergone an ankle surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament damage he sustained during the match against Chelsea.

Lucas played in the 2-0 win over Chelsea, but he sustained a horrible injury in the process. Despite making into the Carling cup semi finals following the win, one can certainly be confident that Kenny Dalglish would have not played him in hindsight. He has been praising Lucas Leiva lot in recent weeks by saying that the recent form of Liverpool has to be attributed to the Brazilian.

He seems to have come of age of late after performing poorly under the reign of Rafa Benitez. Further, the departure of Mascherano to Barcelona also seems to have helped his cause. The regular run of games that he now gets in the midfield has been one of the main reasons for Liverpool to not feel the absence of Steven Gerrard in recent weeks. However, the injury that he sustained in the match against Chelsea is a crucial one and it will rule him out for the season. Liverpool confirmed that the Brazilian had indeed undergone a surgery and will be starting his recuperation period immediately.

"Liverpool confirmed this afternoon that Lucas had successfully undergone surgery in Brazil on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury he sustained at Chelsea last week. LFC medical staff were present during the procedure. Lucas will now begin an agreed rehabilitation programme which will be overseen by the Club's medical team," read a statement on Liverpool's official website. A number of his teammates have been tweeting about the fact that they will be missing him for the next few months, which will be crucial because Liverpool need to qualify for the Champions League.

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