Lucas signs Liverpool extension

Liverpool announced Wednesday that midfielder Lucas Leiva has signed a long-term contract extension with the club.

Lucas joined Liverpool in 2007 from Brazilian side Gremio and has gone on to make 208 appearances for the Reds. The Brazilian's progress has been derailed by a series of injuries over the past couple of seasons, but his commitment inspired Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre to hand the 26-year-old a new contract.

"It's fantastic," Ayre said. "He has been such a great servant to the club and I think during the period he went through with his two injuries, he put so much work into it and the club supported him through it.

"He just goes from strength to strength. We said throughout last summer and January, we wanted to keep our best, experienced players, and this is another great example of that. The manager has said several times that as well as having a great, young squad, it's important we have experience and it's important we have characters. People like Lucas fit that. He'll tell you he's still very young but in footballing terms he's experienced and a big part of the team."

Lucas joins Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Brad Jones, Raheem Sterling, Suso, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom in signing new contracts with Liverpool over the last 10 months.