Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Liverpool: Leiva speaks on Chapecoense tragedy, knew victims

Liverpool v Leeds United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Lucas Leiva of Liverpool beats Souleymane Doukara of Leeds United to the ball during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on November 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Lucas Leiva captained Liverpool in Tuesday’s EFL Cup triumph over Leeds United, and he was playing with a heavy heart.

The 29-year-old Brazilian was on the field hours after learning of the horrible Chapecoense plane crash which claimed 75 lives, many of them soccer players, early Tuesday.

[ MORE: Clubs petition to relegation-proof Chapecoense ]

Naturally, the incident back home stunned Leiva (as it did the rest of the world). Adding to his pain was the fact that he knew several of the victims.

From the BBC:

“It was a terrible accident. I have a few people that I played with, some young players. It’s very hard for me to play tonight because I know a lot of people there, but we just hope the families have the support they need and the victims rest in peace.”

Leiva would’ve been forgiven for begging out of the Liverpool lineup, but honored his peers’ memory in the match. The Reds won 2-0.

Follow @NicholasMendola