UEFA Champions League: Barcelona star set for his debut after 8 months

Brazil midfielder Phillipe Coutinho was unable to feature for Barcelona last season in the UEFA Champions League as he had already featured for English Premier League side Liverpool in the group stage of the competition before making a move to Barcelona in January, which ruled him out automatically with the previous rule.

The 2015 Champions suffered a shock exit to Italian giants AS Roma at the quarter-final stage after loosing control of a resounding 4-1 first leg win to a surprise 3-0 loss at the Stadio Olympico in Italy.

The former Inter Milan player is ready to make his debut in the Blaugrana colours this season after 8 months of wait.

“It was tough for me personally and for us as a team because of the way we were eliminated, but this time we are determined,” Coutinho added.

“I wanted to help, but I could not. I was watching it on TV, it was very hard.

“Last year I couldn’t play and I’m looking forward to getting out there in the Champions League.

“Barcelona fight for all the competitions but the Champions League is the biggest and we are going to go for it.

“We haven’t won it in a few years but we have the players and we are hungry to go out there and win it.

“We have to keep working hard and it all starts right now in the Champions League.”

Since his arrival at the Camp Nou from Liverpool, he has been tipped to be the replacement of the living legend Andres Iniesta who left Barcelona in the summer but the he has rejected such suggestions as he has been seen playing same position with Iniesta.

“Andres was a genius, comparisons between us are tough,” Coutinho told a news conference ahead of his Champions League bow for Barca against PSV on Tuesday.

“I just want to be myself and win as much as I can here.

“I try to work hard regardless of my position and I work hard on every aspect of my game, I feel more of an attacking midfielder and I am comfortable on the left as this is where I’ve played the most.

“My goal is to improve at everything and if I want to be like Andres Iniesta I have to improve a lot.

“My first job is to make plays in the midfield, in the middle it’s more difficult as I have to hold on to the ball and help my team-mates.

“In attack I can contribute to more goals, but I will do whatever job the coach asks me to do.”


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