Luis Suarez produces touching celebration for former Liverpool player after unexpected retirement

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The Uruguayan dedicated his celebration to the former midfielder over the weekend.

Luis Suarez paid tribute to the recently-retired Lucas Leiva after opening the scoring in his side’s 2-1 loss to Ypiranga Futebol Club over the weekend.

Leiva, 36, was forced to retire from professional football due to a heart condition, with the former Liverpool midfielder stating that ‘his health comes first’.

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The Brazilian had signed for his boyhood club in Gremio last summer and his last appearance was back in early-November as his side triumphed 3-0.

His former Gremio teammate in Suarez opened the scoring in the 12th minute over the weekend and during his celebration the former Bareclona striker revealed a message under his shirt which read ‘Lucas, our heart is with you’.

Across his 17-year career, Leiva played across South America and Europe, playing for Gremio, Liverpool and Lazio before returning home for a second-spell with the Brazilian side.

On Friday, Lucas announced that the issue has brought a premature end to his career. “I would like to thank Grêmio for all the support in these three months,” he told a news conference. “Today I am announcing my retirement. It’s been a difficult period.

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“I’m ending where I would like, not the way I would like. But I’m sure a new cycle will begin. I had a lot of hope that [the issue] could be reversed, but it was not the case. My health comes first.”

He spent 10 seasons at Anfield after joining in 2007 and enjoyed a League Cup success coupled with a Europa League final loss.

Having returned to Gremio last summer, he scored three times in 17 apperances before doctors at the club discovered his condition during some routine tests.

Tributes have poured in from far and wide, with Liverpool’s official social media accounts titling their videos ‘Once a Red, Always a Red’.

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