Philippe Coutinho has finally gone to Barcelona and we’re all left asking the same question.
What would he have looked like wearing the best Barcelona kits from years gone by?
Okay, so you probably weren’t thinking about that. You were probably wondering what number he’s going to wear, or how it feels to go from Jordan Henderson to Sergio Busquets.
But this is a party for the eyes. So sit back and relax, unless you’re a Liverpool fan in which case you should look away now.
Picture the scenes. Coutinho playing in behind Ronaldo at the peak of his powers. A truly terrifying prospect for La Liga’s defenders.
Throw Luis Figo and Hristo Stoichkov into the mix, not to mention a certain Josep Guradiola, and we doubt they’d concede possession all game.
Coutinho will have a link to the 96/97 squad in Sergio Busquets’ dad. Carles Busquets was backup to Vitor Baia in between the Barcelona goalposts.
Barcelona kicked off their centenary year with a beautiful new home kit and Guardiola, fittingly, captaining the side.
Patrick Kluivert took over from Ronaldo as the man goalscorer in which Barcelona perfected the art of frustration.
Louis van Gaal’s side finished second in La Liga, runners-up in the Spanish Super Cup and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey and Champions League final in the semi-finals.
If only they’d had Coutinho.
These were the slightly lean years for Barcelona, who finished fourth in La Liga, were knocked out of the Copa del Rey in the first round and fell at the semi-final stages of the Champions League.
But the prospect of a young Xavi and Rivaldo in tandem with Coutinho should be marked as NSFW.
Kluivert wouldn’t have had to get out of bed and he’d still score 25 goals a season with all that creativity around him.
Three words. Coutinho and Ronaldinho.
Barcelona won the league title in 2005 inspired by Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o. The supporting cast of Xavi, Henrik Larsson, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol weren’t too shabby either.
The season also marked the start of the Lionel Messi era. Luckily we don’t have to imagine what Messi and Coutinho playing together would look like now.
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