Coutinho

Can’t explain why Barca have only won one of the last 4 UCL with Messi: Coutinho

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The Brazilian midfielder will make his first Champions League appearance for the Catalans on Tuesday night, having been ineligible last season following his winter move from Liverpool.


“The Champions League is a very important competition and I have been desperate to be able to play for my team,” he told the press conference.

“We will fight for every title. It is the most important tournament in the world and we are eager to do well this year.”

The 26-year-old spoke about his position on the pitch and comparisons with Andres Iniesta.

“Iniesta is a genius and being compared to him is a little difficult. I try to be myself but to be compared to him is the greatest possible compliment,” he said.

“When I play in midfield I should keep the ball, do the simple things well and dictate the tempo of the game.

“It’s different to playing higher up. But I want to play, wherever that may be, wherever the coach tells me.

“It’s true that I feel more comfortable on the left wing, higher up or in midfield, but I will play anywhere.

“I always think that I can improve but to feel like Iniesta I will have to improve a great deal,” he continued.

Coutinho was then asked about which of Barcelona’s signings he thought was the best, but the Brazilian gave a diplomatic response.

“They are all good, great signings for the club,” he said.

“They are certainly going to help us a lot. It’s difficult to choose one.

“I will say all four.”

He moved on to the speak about the Champions League and what the expectations for Barcelona are in this campaign.

“Deciding on favourites is something for the media,” he said, when asked about whether Barcelona are most likely to win their group.

“We have a very difficult group. Qualification will be decided by fine margins. We will have to be at our best in every match so we are not surprised.

“Criticism always exists, we have suffered in some matches but in the end have won.

“Our position in the table [in LaLiga Santander] is good and in the end that’s the most important thing.

“It’s exciting. We are excited. The same is true about the league, but it’s a long championship. As players we want to win everything that we can.

“It’s difficult to explain why Barcelona have only won one of the last four Champions Leagues. He [Lionel Messi] is the best player in the world and probably the best ever.”

The Brazilian playmaker reflected on the painful memories of last season, when all he could do was watch from the stands as Barcelona were eliminated by Roma in a shock comeback.

“It was very difficult. It’s hard as a player when you’re not there. I wanted to help in some way but I couldn’t. It was a really tough way to get knocked out,” he admitted.

Finally, Coutinho refused to be drawn into the controversial debate surrounding the LaLiga Santander fixture which could be played in Miami.

“It’s a matter for the captains. I know that conversations are underway. I can’t contribute much to this myself,” he finished.

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