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Philippe Coutinho trains for the first time as a Barcelona player as Brazilian puts in solo session in hope of early return from injury to make debut

January 12, 2018 5:12 PM
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Philippe Coutinho has put in his first training session since his British record £145million move from Liverpool to Barcelona.

The Brazilian maestro donned Barca colours on Friday morning and undertook a solo session, under the eagle-eyed watch of the club fitness staff and medical team.

Coutinho is now gearing up to make his debut for the Catalan giants, after arriving at the Nou Camp carrying a thigh injury.

As they have done since the first moment he walked through the doors, Barcelona made a procession of Coutinho's first training day and posted a video online for their millions of global followers to enjoy.

Coutinho started his day going through a series of weight exercises, building up the resistance in his legs to facilitate muscle repair.

The former Liverpool idol cut a determined figure as he got down to the grind, eager to impress his new employers.

The characteristic Coutinho grin was replaced by a face of steely determination, with the playmaker desperate to accelerate his comeback from injury and make his debut sooner rather than later.

Balance, agility and flexibility were also measured as Coutinho went through a variety of different assessments.

The player could be seen jumping up to head a fixed ball on gym apparatus, while fitness staff gauged how the spring and landing had impact upon his injured thigh area.

Should his injury rehab go to plan, or occur ahead of schedule, Coutinho could well be set to make his bow for the club in the Catalan derby against Espanyol - the club he played at on loan in 2012.

Barca are due to meet their neighbours in the Copa Del Rey, with Coutinho likely to be fit in time to feature in the away leg at the Nou Camp on January 28.

Should Coutinho not be ready by that point, the two sides meet again a week later in La Liga, with Espanyol this time playing host.

The Brazilian described his move - the second most expensive in football history - as a 'dream come true' as he was officially unveiled before thousands of supporters inside the club's iconic stadium.

Coutinho has penned a five-year contract in Catalonia, with an eye-watering £355million (€400m) buy-out clause inserted.

In his parting statement to Liverpool supporters Coutinho had insisted it was always a dream to pull on the red and blue stripes of Barcelona, and something he simply could not pass up the chance to do.

'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,' Coutinho had wrote.

'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,' he added.

Jurgen Klopp was asked for his final words on the player during his press conference on Friday afternoon, ahead of Liverpool going toe to toe with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

The German wouldn't be drawn too heavily onto the topic, though did admit Liverpool couldn't possibly have considered holding the player against his will.

'It could have been very difficult if we had done what we could have done (and said) – "There's your contract and you have to stay here!' he added.


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