The transfer of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona has become one of the most controversial of all time.
The most expensive signing the Catalans have ever made and dubbed the replacement for Andres Iniesta, the former Liverpool star flattered to deceive during his time at Barcelona.
Liverpool had remained steadfast about keeping Coutinho initially but after it became clear that Coutinho wanted to leave and in addition that there would be €135m on the table, they granted his wish.
Or as Coutinho puts it, his dream.
“It wasn’t the experience I expected, but life is like that. The only time I was worried was when I had a serious injury, I was out for nine months and I had three operations.”
“It’s all part of the ups and downs of life. My dream was to play at Barcelona since I was a boy. But now that’s in the past and I’m eager for my future at Aston Villa.”
Coutinho made the comments to the Daily Mail in an interview carried by Sport. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that his spell at Barcelona was over for good after completing a €20m move to the Birmingham club.
He also explained how key Steven Gerrard was in his decision to go to Aston Villa.
“I came here for him, he was the one that called me and the first contact with the club. I was at home when we did a Zoom and we spoke about many things. I didn’t take long to decide because I wanted to play and this was a great opportunity. Now I am very happy to have signed.”
His spell at Barcelona is a testament to the importance of fit. Coutinho never had a settled position at Barcelona and although it’s not been plain sailing at Villa, has looked far more comfortable in a more suited role.