What went wrong with Barcelona and Coutinho?

Touted as the potential successor of Lionel Messi, Barcelona roped in Philippe Coutinho for a massive £142 million in 2018. Not many things have gone Coutinho’s way in his professional career, if at all since joining the Culers. What could have been a legendary career at Liverpool, is heading towards a sorry tale for the Brazilian wizard. It was for everyone to see what Coutinho was capable of. Hence, it is all the more frustrating for his followers to see his career unfold the way it has. And to see Liverpool flourish the way they have since his departure adds salt to the wound. Having played for the Reds for the Merseyside club for almost 5 years, he had gained popularity and love from all over the world. He was revered not just for how he played, but also for how he went about his business, a no-nonsense footballer. 

Why did he join Barcelona? 

Football Club Barcelona has been a top side for so many years now. So, no one can blame any player for wanting to play for the club, more so when they had been collecting trophies for fun while Liverpool was struggling to bother their trophy cabinet then. And he did win some titles with Barcelona, although no La Liga or Champions League. Furthermore, an opportunity to play with and against and learn from the best(s) in the world isn’t something you would want to miss out on. 

Coutinho was literally flying in his Liverpool run. Image source: Sky Sports

Why shouldn’t he have left Liverpool? 

He won trophies since he joined Barcelona, but not in the manner the player of his caliber would have liked, which is by contributing significantly. Speaking of winning the trophies, so did Liverpool. They most notably won the Champions League in the 2018/19 season and the Premier League next season. Another side to this is that The Reds bought Allison Becker and Virgil Van Dijk. Those two have been instrumental in their success. Another reason why he shouldn’t have left Liverpool is the lack of playing time he would have liked. Coutinho’s preferable position is that of a No.10, occupied by arguably the best No.10 the game of football has ever seen. So, the downside of his move to Barcelona was that he was always going to be in the shadows of Messi and other top players. Whereas, at Liverpool, he was emerging as a leader and a talisman.

Injuries didn’t help his cause either. Also, managerial preferences and strategies eventually led to his loan spell with Bayern Munich, where ironically, he won the Champions League annihilating Barcelona in the process. Now that he is with Barcelona again, problems have not gone away. Due to the financial crisis, they seek to unload him this summer. 

What is in store for Coutinho? 

Only 29, Coutinho still can fulfill the prophecy of being the best in the world. He will still be an asset no matter the side he joins. Hopefully, he settles into the side, whichever it may be, and gets the time that he needs along with fitness, and we will get to witness the resurrection of the career that we all hoped to pan out in the first place.