Coutinho: I’m not even close to Iniesta’s level yet

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho says he has a long way to go if he intends to reach the level of Catalan legend Andres Iniesta.

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Coutinho signed for the Spanish champions from Liverpool in January and some have already drawn comparisons between the Brazilian and former Barca midfielder Iniesta.

However, Coutinho has made it clear that the comparison is premature and that he needs to work hard to improve his game before being spoken of in the same breath as Iniesta, who left the club at the end of last season.

“Andres was a genius, comparisons between us are tough,” Coutinho told a news conference. “I just want to be myself and win as much as I can here.

“I try to work hard regardless of my position and I work hard on every aspect of my game, I feel more of an attacking midfielder and I am comfortable on the left as this is where I’ve played the most.

“My goal is to improve at everything and if I want to be like Andres Iniesta I have to improve a lot.

“My first job is to make plays in the midfield, in the middle it’s more difficult as I have to hold on to the ball and help my team-mates.

“In attack, I can contribute to more goals, but I will do whatever job the coach asks me to do.”

Iniesta won nine La Liga titles with Barcelona and helped them clinch four UEFA Champions League crowns.