Story By: Lee Bullen, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golders
Brazil’s most-capped player Cafu has said that his compatriot Coutinho is struggling at Barcelona since leaving Liverpool and that it is “hard for him to stand out next to Messi”.
Cafu, 48, was visiting the independent city-state of Monaco for the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards when he made his comments.
The two-time World Cup winner, who also bagged a stack of trophies with the great AC Milan side of the last decade, told local media: “Coutinho did something great at Liverpool, he became their best player, but now everything has changed completely at Barcelona.”
Pictures Credit: Golders/@official_cafu
Cafu added: “It is hard for him to stand out next to Messi.”
The 26-year-old Brazilian winger, who found international fame at Liverpool, has found the going hard with the Catalan giants after agreeing a rumoured 142-million-GBP fee in January 2018 and impressing during his first half-season with the club.
Coutinho played a key role in helping Barca win the domestic double, but has found the going tough this season and teammate Sergio Busquets recently admitted that he is lacking “confidence and rhythm”.
Signed as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, the Brazilian may soon be out of the door at the Camp Nou and is rumoured to have attracted the attention of Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Cafu hopes that his young compatriot will fight for his place in the Barcelona side and rediscover his form.
He said: “With a little time, he will soon be appearing more alongside Messi and Suarez.
“We have great hopes for Coutinho, both in the Brazilian national team and at Barca.”
When asked about his thoughts on Argentine legend Lionel Messi, Cafu responded: “He is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world.”