Barcelona & Philippe Coutinho
Former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho has already got off the mark for Barcelona since his January transfer.
Signed for 142 million pounds, Coutinho scored the opener in last Thursday night’s Copa del Rey tie at Valencia.
The Catalans went on to win 2-0 at the Mestalla, while Barca were held to a 0-0 draw by Getafe at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
Brazilian Coutinho is becoming Portuguese
This summer could be huge for Coutinho as he’s expected to be a starter for Brazil at the World Cup in Russia.
Alongside the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, Coutinho offers Brazil one of the most potent attacking units in international football.
Yet, Coutinho may not be ‘just’ Brazilian for that much longer.
According to reports on Tuesday, Coutinho is about to begin the process to obtain Portuguese citizenship.
Coutinho is eligible to apply for a Portuguese passport thanks to his wife Aine, as he revealed this week to Mundo Deportivo.
So why didn’t Coutinho apply to be Portuguese at Liverpool?
According to Portuguese rules, applicants have to be married for three years before qualifying for citizenship. But, for the record, the couple married on December 12, 2012.
— Giovanni Capuano (@capuanogio) February 13, 2018
Big for Barcelona
If Coutinho is granted a Portuguese passport, that would have a positive impact for Barcelona.
Barcelona have three ‘extra-community positions’ filled in their squad by Coutinho, Yerry Mina and Paulinho.
Coutinho would come off that list, and open up a fresh spot on the Barca roster for a player outside the European Union. Could that be Gremio’s Artur?
Barcelona have played with citizenship rules before. For example Luis Suarez holds Italian passport via his wife Sofia Balbi.