Coutinho opens up on 'beautiful story' at Liverpool and 'painful' Barcelona past

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Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho has opened up on the "beautiful story" he experienced at Liverpool and discussed the "painful" period that followed at Barcelona.

The 29-year-old defied critics to regain his place in the Brazilian national team ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, finding his club form at Aston Villa under former team-mate Steven Gerrard.

Coutinho has now spoken about his unusual career path from Anfield to Villa Park.

What has been said?

"I have a beautiful story at Liverpool, I was happy there, now I’m starting to write a story at Aston Villa," Coutinho told Globo Esporte. "I’m happy that once again I’m able to play well in England, as I’ve played in Italy, Spain and Germany.

"It’s hard to say what didn’t work at Barca. I had good times there, but the sequence and the way of acting were factors that could have been different.”

"It was time to move forward, always with great respect and professionalism. I am grateful to Barcelona for believing in my work and I am grateful for having defended a club with a lot of history."

On his injuries at Camp Nou, he said: "People have no idea how painful it is, how focused you need to be to recover. I did treatment in the morning, afternoon and at times, even at night."

The bigger picture

Coutinho is thrilled to be back with the Selecao as they try to finish an unbeaten qualifying stage in CONMEBOL.

"Today, I can happily say that this difficult time is behind me," he said. "Tite's committee is very professional and qualified, always trying to be very fair with everyone in the group and I feel respected within the group.

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"All the members involved in the process were very attentive and professional with my recovery.

"I always felt comfortable in the Brazilian national team and their attention to me is something that motivated me even more to want new achievements with this shirt."

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