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'I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me... You'll Never Walk Alone': Philippe Coutinho delivers heartfelt farewell to Reds fans after sealing £145m move to the Nou Camp

January 9, 2018 12:21 AM
23 0

Philippe Coutinho has offered his sincerest goodbyes to Liverpool supporters after confirming his 'dream' £145million move to Barcelona.

The Brazilian enjoyed five years on Merseyside, during which he grew from a precocious talent to one of the most exciting players in world football.

It is no secret that Barcelona's new record signing longed for a move to the Nou Camp – he did, after all, hand in a transfer request last summer as Liverpool rebuffed three giant bids.

But, despite the best efforts of the Anfield club — and Jurgen Klopp — the lure of the Catalans proved too much.

'I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me,' Coutinho wrote on Instagram.

'Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it.

Coutinho scored 54 goals in 201 appearances for the Reds, a record which was enough to prick up the ears of Barcelona chiefs.

He left the UK at 5.35pm on Saturday evening and arrived all smiles in the country he will now call home at 9.45pm local time.

Coutinho beamed like a child in a sweet shop as he was shown around the Nou Camp on Monday morning, taking in the club's history on a tour of the museum.

But, the Brazilian hastened to add in his statement, the move is no slight on his time in Liverpool and he endeavoured to reassure Reds that the club will always hold a special place with him.

'I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance,' he added.

Coutinho pressed his name into his new club shirt in the Barcelona shop. He, as yet, has not been assigned a squad number, but he may well be handed the No 14 – a number which carries the weighty history of the iconic Johan Cruyff.

Following his keepy-ups, smiles and waves, the Brazilian playmaker — or meia atacante as it is coined in his homeland — applauded the 7,000 adoring fans who turned out to welcome their new superstar at the Nou Camp in the afternoon.

Coutinho, however, reserved a special statement for the Kop faithful, for whom he had become the darling of Anfield since the departure of Luis Suarez back in 2014.

'And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters,' he continued.

'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.

It was Suarez, in fact, who played a pivotal role in convincing his former Liverpool team-mate to swap Merseyside for Catalonia.

So, for Coutinho, his future as a Barcelona player awaits. And he is champing at the bit to start.


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