Lucio

After three seasons with Internacional de Portalegre in his native Brazil, Lucio came to Europe to play for Bayer Leverkusken in Germany. He has helped his club to become one of the top teams in Germany and a force in the Championship League.

When he gained his first international cap, he expressed his excitement "wearing the shirt of the Brazil national team – that always was one of my biggest dreams.

Lucio is a frequent goal-scorer but this has led to some criticism that he is neglecting his defensive duties. He is at peace. "I give thanks to God for the goals I have scored. I don’t go out looking for goals because I play in the defense, but equally in the game there are opportunities. When it happens that I am able to score it helps my team".

Before I became a footballer, my mother took me to an evangelical Church in Brasilia and I immediately felt that I belonged there. It was here that I realized my need of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and committed my life to follow him. Being a Christian has helped my football career and given me more discipline and success.

Becoming a Christian brought about a total change in my life. Before I knew Jesus I did not have a disciplined life. I had low self-esteem. I did not have confidence in the things that I did day by day. Today I don’t only want to walk with the Lord, but also, be more disciplined and persevere towards my objectives.

When things don’t work out, I don’t understand it but after it is over, I regard it as a work of the Lord in my life guarding me, protecting me and keeping me for the big future blessings. Anyone who thinks that he has everything and doesn’t have Jesus has nothing. The one who has Jesus has happiness and peace. With Jesus in your heart you need have no fear. That is he person who has everything in life. I think that is most important.

The most important thing in a game of football is to give your all and do things in a responsible way because for sure the victories will come, but there will also be defeats. Anyone who steps onto the playing-field is subject to handle any result.

When you lose there is a need to analyze why. I don’t think there is any reason to lose hope just because you lose a football match. After all in any game three results are possible – a win, a defeat or a draw. Anyone who plays football has to accept that and work to achieve the best possible result. Aside from the result, there are opportunities to grow in your profession.

You need a lot of character and a lot of faith in God to be a professional footballer. It is a difficult thing to be a professional football player, but we have an obligation and a task inside football. It is difficult because we have to deal with unpleasant moments, rejection, and humiliation in football. We have to have strength to fight and conquer these difficulties, and above all to spread the Word of God.

There is a passage in Psalm 1 that says: "Blessed is the man who refuses evil advice and will not follow sinners or join in sneering at God. He is like a tree growing beside a stream which produces fruit in season." I think this verse reflects my life because everything happened at the right moment. I also had that discernment of the Lord and His guidance in keeping me from sneering at God. I think that it is important in the life of the professional football player to know that there is only one road that is secure. That road is Jesus.

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