Ballon d’or winner claims Coutinho left Barcelona because of Lionel Messi

Ballon d'or winner claims Coutinho left Barcelona because of Lionel Messi

Barcelona legend and former Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo has revealed that he is disappointed at Philippe Coutinho’s exit from Barcelona – and also pointed his finger at Lionel Messi for being the reason why the Brazilian left the club.

“I always believed that Philippe Coutinho had the ability to succeed at Barcelona, but things were taking too much time and both parties agreed on a transfer to Bayern Munich,” Rivaldo told Betfair in a recent interview.

“I’m a little disappointed about his failure in gaining a regular place in the first team, but perhaps he was no longer confident about it and unhappy, so he opted for a move to another big club trying to finally recover his best football from his time at Liverpool,” he further added, before making the following point:

“It’s never easy to find your space in a team where Lionel Messi constantly takes all the credit and responsibility.”

“There are few players in the world capable of reaching such situation and imposing themselves, and maybe Coutinho didn’t have enough patience to find his spot in the team,” he explained, before concluding:

“The Argentinian star is the team leader and will keep playing at his best level for about three or four more years, so it is difficult to see other players shining at their best at Barcelona.”

Philippe Coutinho joined the Blaugrana from Liverpool in January 2018, for a transfer fee of €140million.

He failed to create much of an impact in the 2018-19 season – having scored only eleven goals in 53 appearances overall – and was eventually shipped to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on loan.

Quotes via Mirror.