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Sale of Coutinho – a symbol of the failure of “Barcelona”

Latest NewsSale of Coutinho - a symbol of the failure of "Barcelona"

Philippe Coutinho, the most expensive signing in Barcelona’s history – €120m plus 40 variables to Liverpool in 2018 – was transferred for €20m to Aston Villa. The amount is half the amount included in the transfer clause both clubs signed in January when the 29-year-old Brazilian left the Camp Nou.

The operation, if anything, was celebrated by all three parties: Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard are delighted with the player, who was already a teammate of the manager at Liverpool; Barcelona return 20 million and reserve 50% of the capital gain from the future sale of the striker; Yes, and Coutinho feels much more comfortable in Birmingham than in Barcelona.

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The pressure from Camp Nou was on the player. He didn’t get along with the crowd, who greeted him with ovations and whistled him off after an alternating hiatus that included a loan spell to Bayern Munich in 2019. and propelled him to the quarter-finals of the Champions League when he beat Barca 2-8 with exactly two goals from the Brazilian.

The striker, who played 39 games and scored 11 goals for the Bundesliga champions, avenged the ire of Barça fans in his own way after not celebrating a goal and plugging his ears in a European Cup match played in April 2019 against Manchester. United.

Coutinho ultimately symbolizes the failure of the sporting policies of the reign of former President Josep Maria Bartomeu. In the summer of 2017, with the departure of Neymar to PSG, the board lost oremus and squandered the 222 million received under the contract termination clause with the Brazilian on signings like Coutinho and Dembele (105 plus 40 variables).

The subsequent inclusion of Griezmann witnessed the losses that led to the collapse – a debt of about 1,300 million – of the Barça company, which was headed by Joan Laporta a year ago. Bartomeu became obsessed with finding a striker to complete the trident with Luis Suarez and Messi, and the story ended with the departure of the Uruguayan (Atletico) and the Argentine (PSG).

This did not help Coutinho to occupy an indefinite position in a team as orthodox as Barça. He never replaced Iniesta, as some of his supporters at the Camp Nou claimed. The best of his seasons was, in any case, the first. As of January 2018, when he arrived from Anfield, he had scored nine goals and provided eight assists in the 22 games he played in the League and Cup.

However, this did not surpass him in his second season despite Valverde lining him up in the lineup in 54 games. He scored 11 goals as well as five assists, a statistic that the Camp Nou fans were not happy with. A move to Bayern was not a remedy either, because the German club did not take the 120 million purchase option and Coutinho returned to Barcelona.

Koeman was happy to host him for the 2020-2021 season following the departures of Luis Suarez and Rakitic. However, the striker played 14 games, scored three goals, and on December 30, 2020, suffered an injury to the outer meniscus of his left knee. He had to undergo surgery three times and did not appear until September in a European match against Bayern.

Last season was his January loan move to Aston Villa. Barcelona needed to lower their payroll and Coutinho’s record was close to 16 million euros, and the player also needed minutes to maintain his position in the Brazilian team with an eye on the World Cup in Qatar. Aston Villa was and still is a solution and a relief for Barça.

“It’s a brilliant signing because he’s a professional model and his impact on the team has been very good,” says Gerard, delighted with Coutinho, who will sign until 2026. The player from Rio de Janeiro played in 16 games. and has scored four goals since his January arrival in Birmingham. Communication with the fans is also excellent compared to the Camp Nou.

No one misses the Brazilian at Barcelona, ​​who happily accepted a transfer for half the money expected to be able to issue salary bills again and face some of the signings requested by Xavi. Coutinho, who played 106 games and scored 26 goals, lost to a club that has Brazilians like Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar.

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Source: elpais.com

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