A vast majority of Liverpool fans may be disgruntled over the way Philippe Coutinho forced his way into a €160 million move to Catalan giants Barcelona, but the Brazilian has shown he’s willing to let bygones be bygones with a detailed thank you message posted on Instagram.
Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool , me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends. On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters. Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club’s greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character. I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so. I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart. I wish Jürgen and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time. There are too many people I want to thank, but I cannot name everyone individually. To all the amazing club staff who have been part of my life in Liverpool – I will miss you. To the owners, whom have tried so hard to bring success, and to the football recruitment staff for showing faith in me to bring me here and rewarding me during that journey, and to my incredible teammates, past and present, who have helped me grow and improve as a player and a person, I would like to say thank you to you all. Anything I have achieved here would not have been possible without you. And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me. You’ll Never Walk Alone. Philippe.
Coutinho on Monday became Barcelona’s record signing, shattering the record previously held by winger Ousmane Dembele (€140 million, including add-ons).
The Coutinho saga, which started in the summer of 2017, culminated with Barcelona finally nabbing their man early on in the January transfer window.
Signed by Liverpool in January 2015 for a now-paltry sum of £8.5 million from Serie A side Inter Milan, Coutinho slowly but surely, established himself as one of the Premier League’s most influential midfielders.
Possessing a thunderous shot and trademark Brazilian flair to go along with it, Coutinho scored many golazos during his time in the English top-flight and along with Tottenham Hotspur man Christian Eriksen and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, was regarded as the best No.10 in the Premier League.
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The 25-year-old’s skills certainly lit up games and he was considered a fan favourite at Anfield but got his head turned when Barcelona sought to replace his compatriot Neymar (who moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222 million) with him and Dembele in the summer.
While Barcelona persuaded Borussia Dortmund to part with the French winger, Liverpool were adamant that they would not sell their prized asset.
Considering La Blaugrana had raided Liverpool for Luis Suarez in 2014, the Reds were understandably wary and rejected several offers, with the last one said to be in the region of €105 million.
What irked Liverpool fans even more was the fact that Coutinho didn’t play till the transfer window remained open, with a suspect back injury preventing him from featuring. To complicate matters, the Brazilian national team’s doctor stated that he was fit and the twinkle-toed midfielder did start for his country in the international break, which left many to suggest he was feigning injury in order to force a move.
And the fact that the 25-year-old was sidelined with a thigh injury the moment the transfer window opened on January 1 had many fans braced for an exit and true to form, the midfielder got his way in the end. Some Liverpool fans torched his jersey, while others understood the player’s ambition to move to one of the biggest clubs in world football and wished him well.
However, Barcelona have stated that Coutinho is actually suffering from a muscular injury this time and is not ready to make his debut yet. He is expected to be fit for their January 28 La Liga tie against Alaves.