PHILIPPE COUTINHO made his long-awaited debut for Barcelona last night after more than a year of being linked with the club while playing for Liverpool.
The Brazilian playmaker was introduced as a second-half substitute during the Catalan giants’ routine 2-0 victory over Espanyol.
Coutinho arrived at the Nou Camp
earlier this month in a deal worth £146m but had been unable to make his debut until last night due to a thigh injury.
Barcelona club legend Ronaldinho
, who retired from football earlier this month, sent the 25-year-old an emotional message of support on Instagram as he prepared to pull on the famous Blaugrana shirt.
“It’s Ronaldinho speaking here to wish you all the luck in the world,” he said.
“Give it everything and make people happy. That is what they like.
“Enjoy yourself and the rest will follow, OK?
He was introduced in the 69th minute, replacing Andres Iniesta, at the Nou Camp last night, helping Barca secure victory in the second-leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Barcelona join Valencia, Sevilla and Leganes in the semi-final of the competition after first-half goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi helped to overturn Epsanyol's 1-0 lead from the first-leg.
Speaking to Barcelona’s official website last night, Coutinho said: “"For me it's a great night, a very special night.
“They are my first minutes with this club and I'm very happy, thrilled.”
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