PHOTO: Liverpool star returns home to rest ahead of big challenges next season

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has returned to Brazil after missing out on this summer’s World Cup squad.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has returned to his native Brazil to spend time with his family and friends after missing out on Brazil’s World Cup squad.

It was a tough call for the 27-year-old defensive midfielder, as he was hoping to add to his 24 international caps by competing for Brazil at this summer’s World Cup in his homeland.

Unfortunately for Lucas Leiva, an injury-hit campaign has made it difficult for Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, and Steve Gerrard’s form in the defensive midfield role meant Lucas was heading into the summer short on games.

Throughout the season, the former Gremio star started just 20 Premier League matches for the Reds, with the majority of those coming before he picked up his knee ligament injury in January.

Brendan Rodgers was delighted to have the defensive midfielder back for the Premier League title run-in, and despite not lifting the title, his contribution to the squad was duly noted.

As a result of Steven Gerrard’s age and Liverpool’s return to the Champions League, Lucas Leiva will be planning a long summer’s rest before returning to Merseyside well prepared to take on the rigours of another title challenge and European football.

He took to Instagram to post up a picture of his journey to birthplace Dourados, Brazil, and posted a simple message to his fans, saying: ‘On the way to Dourados’ before hash-tagging his friends and family.

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