The story of Liverpool FC and former player Philippe Coutinho is one that is known to the entire football world.
From obscurity on the bench at Inter Milian to the announcement that Liverpool FC had signed a raw talent in Philippe Coutinho, the event paved the way for the rise of both player and club. Before this, Coutinho was relatively an average player, but upon arrival at Melwood, he gradually warmed his way into the hearts of the Kop and the neutrals.
The ‘little magician’ as he was fondly praised, charmed the Anfield crowd with his samba magic – a combination of flicks, tricks, assists, curling shots and beautiful goals. From Rodgers to Klopp, his influence grew and positively improved a Liverpool FC in need of a renaissance.
But then, like the departure of Luis Suarez (a former teammate and friend), Coutinho wanted more! A switch to Spain to follow his ‘childhood dream’ of playing for an elite team in FC Barcelona soon became headline news.
One could hardly blame him, after painfully missing out of the EPL trophy in the 2013/2014 season (no thanks to the infamous Gerrard slip), Coutinho needed a new challenge and a change of environment that guaranteed winning silverware which was something Liverpool had grown allergic to in recent decades.
So, like Suarez who left England and swept a treble of trophies (Champions League, La Liga and Copa del rey) in his first season at Barcelona, Countinho’s mind was made up. Who no like better tin?
However, unlike the harmonious departure of Suarez, Coutinho’s exit wasn’t close to the mutual understanding and exchange of farewell – almost everyone at LFC hoped he fared worse. The difference in the departure of both players rests on how they left and not why. While the former left amicably, the latter left a sour taste in the mouth of the Liverpool family.
He would not be the first to do so in the history of football, neither would he be the last. It is good to follow your heart but one must be careful not to burn the bridges along the way.