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'Bring on the boos!' - Man Utd hostilities will make Barca's ex-Liverpool stars play better, says Coutinho

14:52 EAT 07/04/2019
Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool
A pair of former Anfield favourites will not be fazed by an unfriendly reception as the Blaugrana chase another UCL title

Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho says he and Luis Suarez will only be inspired to play better if the Manchester United crowd aim jeers at the former Liverpool duo in Wednesday's Champions League showdown at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian spent five years with the Reds, netting a number of impressive goals in 152 Premier League appearances for the Anfield side, while Suarez was named Liverpool's player of the season two years running during his own prolific time on Merseyside.

Man Utd's intense rivalry with Liverpool is well documented, however, and Coutinho is bracing himself for a cacophony of boos when Barca take to the pitch in Manchester after having represented the Red Devils' most hated opponents for so long.

"If they boo myself and Luis Suarez, then that's normal at Old Trafford then that's normal because of the team we used to play for," he said, as quoted by the Mirror. "But it won't make any difference to me.

"Even more than that, it is an incentive to play better and be even more focused. I know that games against Manchester United are special, I learned that during my time at Liverpool when we lived it so intensely with the fans.

"I have that nailed in my memory and, even though this is a different stage, if Barcelona knock United out of Europe if will be a double personal satisfaction for me."

While Coutinho's is eager to sink his former team's bitter rivals, a win could be bittersweet for the attacking midfielder due to the fact that progression for both Liverpool and Barca would see the two sides pitted against each other.

The Brazilian admits that he would have preferred to meet the Reds in the final itself if it had to happen, but says that he won't be holding back if he lines out against Jurgen Klopp's side as the Blaugrana chase the Champions League crown.

"I know that Liverpool supporters will be with us at United," he said. "But they know that later we could see them at Anfield and then, of course, I will be there with Barcelona wanting to win. It would be a dream to play at Anfield again, an explosion of different feelings, I’m sure.

"But I have to be honest and say I would have preferred to meet Liverpool only in the final itself."