Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez has been pulled out of the Uruguay team owing to an injury.
After Wednesday night’s Champions League loss to Real Madrid, the 23-year-old had a cut ankle.
Nunez had been called up for Uruguay’s two away friendlies against Japan and South Korea during the March international break, but it has been decided that he won’t be able to play for his nation and he will stay behind to receive treatment.
Speaking in the post-match interview, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “Darwin looked like he was not at the absolute top level as well and we needed to defend that side as well. We could change and we wanted to mix things up a bit.”
However, the severity of the injury was not disclosed by Liverpool, although it is presumed to be connected to a cut ankle suffered during Wednesday night’s Champions League loss to Real Madrid.
Former Liverpool midfielder Leiva forced to retire at 36 due to heart condition
Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva broke down in tears as he announced his retirement from football because of a heart condition, and cried at press conference.
The problem was discovered during pre-season assessment with Gremio, the Brazilian defensive midfielder’s boyhood club, whom he re-joined last summer.
Leiva was snapped up from Gremio for £5 million by Liverpool in 2007 and went on to make 346 appearances over his ten years at Anfield, becoming a stalwart under Rafael Benitez, Brendan Rodgers, and Jurgen Klopp.
Leiva signed for Lazio in 2017 in a £5m deal and went on to win the Coppa Italia with the Serie A club.
He has now been diagnosed with scarring in the myocardium, which the team’s doctor announced at an emotional farewell.
In a press conference organised by his current club, Gremio, he announced his heartbreaking decision, breaking down in tears and saying: “It’s been a difficult period. I think this is the first time I’ve cried over this case.”
“But I can only thank you. I’m ending where I’d like, not the way I’d like. I’m sure a new cycle will begin. I had a lot of hope that it could reverse, but it was not the case. My health comes first.”
“I wanted to congratulate you [Leiva] on a successful career. I’m very happy that you’re going to go on with a normal life. I want to say on behalf of all the Gremistas that few have represented us like you. That’s why so many people are moved by this moment. You are a great leader in the locker room that we all learned to respect.”
Upon the announcement of his retirement, his former club Liverpool sent him a special tribute on social media. The tweet from the club’s official account stated, “We’re all with you, @LucasLeiva87. Congratulations on a brilliant career and we wish you the very best in your next chapter,” accompanied by a red heart emoji.
Apart from Gremio, Lazio, and Liverpool, Leiva also represented the Brazilian national team, earning a respectable 22 caps, with his last appearance coming in 2013.