Philippe Coutinho’s defiant interview after finally ending Barcelona goal drought

Coutinho ended his 11-month goal drought by scoring Barcelona’s final goal in their 3-1 victory over Valencia on Sunday and insisted there was more to come after his injury nightmare

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowPhilippe Coutinho works out in his garden in throwback clipByDarren WellsDigital Football Writer

  • 09:45, 18 Oct 2021
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Philippe Coutinho sealed Barcelona's win over Valencia with his first goal in almost a year for the club and immediately issued a message of defiance over his faltering career.

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The Brazilian playmaker has had a difficult time since becoming Barca's most-expensive signing ever in January 2018.

Yet despite being regularly linked with an exit, as well as being dogged with injury problems, Coutinho insists he is determined Barcelona fans will see the best version of him at the Camp Nou.

Coutinho's last goal for the club came last November in a victory over Osasuna, shortly before his season was ended by injury.

It's been a tough road back for the 29-year-old since, and it was clear from his celebration against Valencia just how much the goal meant to him.

Philippe Coutinho ended his 11-month goal drought to seal Barcelona's win on Sunday
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Image:
SIPA USA/PA Images)

"Nobody knows what I suffered during the recovery," he said after the match (via Sport). "After so long the goal is very important."

It also helped to seal Barca's comeback after Jose Gaya's early goal looked set to heap more misery on the club in turmoil.

"The victory is also important for the team, because things are not going the way we want," Coutinho admitted.

Ansu Fati's goal and a Memphis Depay penalty had soon made amends to put Barca in front by half-time, with Coutinho then rounding off the scoring in the 85th minute.

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His drive forward started the move which eventually led to his goal, as he received a square pass inside the box to control and fire home.

He immediately wheeled away in celebration and let out a jubilant roar, a possibly involuntary reaction to the anguish of the injury nightmare he's battled to put behind him.

"After what I've been through, which has been very hard, I had even more desire," Coutinho said. "It's a scar that makes me stronger and I'm more eager to be the best Philippe."

Coutinho controls before firing home to seal Barca's victory
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Image:
Getty Images)

Barcelona will no doubt be hoping their £142million acquisition is able to do just that, with Ronald Koeman's team currently down in seventh place in LaLiga, though they could move two points off top spot with victory in their game in hand.

Certainly better times appear to potentially be on the horizon, as Coutinho praised his teammates for delivering a performance more akin to their expectations.

"It is the first game in which we see the Barça that we want one hundred percent of the minutes," he added. "Until now there have been games in which we had only done it 50 percent.

"Things are not going the way we want, but we are all very involved in training, focused on doing a great job."

Can Coutinho still be a success at Barcelona? Have your say below.

While Coutinho's position at Barcelona has often looked precarious, it is under Koeman where he has been given a greater chance to play a part.

And the Dutch boss gushed with pride after seeing the former Liverpool man find the net after coming off the bench, before reinstating his belief in the star.

"It was good," Koeman remarked on Coutinho's performance. "When he entered the game he was good.

"With his freedom we were able to control the game better. He knows how to score goals.

"He has taken an important step because I have always believed in Coutinho. Physically, he is getting better and better."

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