Date published: Sunday 7th April 2019 10:11
Philippe Coutinho explains why it would be “a double personal satisfaction” to knock Manchester United out of the Champions League.
Coutinho will return to England for the first time since he joined Barcelona in January 2018 when the Spaniards travel to Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
Coutinho has failed to settle in Spain after leaving Liverpool over a year ago, but hopes to kick-start his spell with a victory over a former Premier League nemesis.
The Brazilian is aware that his and Luis Suarez’s Liverpool past means they are sure to be targeted by supporters, but Coutinho uses that as inspiration.x
“It won’t make any difference to me,” he told the Sunday Mirror of the likely negative reaction he will receive.
“And, even more than that, it is an incentive to play better and to be even more focused.
“I know that games against Manchester United are special. I learned what they meant during my time at Liverpool when we lived it so intensely with the fans.
“I have that nailed in my memory and, even though this is a different stage, if Barcelona knock United out of Europe, it will be a double personal satisfaction for me.”
Barca will face the winner of Liverpool’s quarter-final with Porto in the semi-final if they can overcome United, with Coutinho admitting he would rather that potential meeting with his former side be in the final.
“I know that Liverpool supporters will be with us at United,” he said.
“But they know that later we could see them at Anfield and then, of course, I will be there with Barcelona wanting to win.
“It would be a dream to play at Anfield again, an explosion of different feelings, I’m sure.
“But I have to be honest and say I would have preferred to meet Liverpool only in the final itself.”