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Philippe Coutinho releases heartfelt message to Liverpool fans as he begins life in Barcelona

Barcelona's new signing Philippe Coutinho waves on the pitch
Barcelona's new signing Philippe Coutinho waves on the pitch

Philippe Coutinho has asked Liverpool fans to understand why he had to follow his dream and sign for Barcelona.

The Brazilian finally sealed a £142m move to the Nou Camp over the weekend after months of protracted negotiations and was presented as a Barca player in a lavish ceremony on Monday.

The reaction back home to Coutinho's exit has been mixed with some supporters critical of the way the transfer eventually played out but the man himself has taken the time to post one last message to the Reds faithful and attempted to explain his decision.

"Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool , me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends," he wrote on Instagram. "On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

"Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club's greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character.

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"I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

"I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club's importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart.

I wish Jürgen and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time. There are too many people I want to thank, but I cannot name everyone individually.

"To all the amazing club staff who have been part of my life in Liverpool - I will miss you. To the owners, whom have tried so hard to bring success, and to the football recruitment staff for showing faith in me to bring me here and rewarding me during that journey, and to my incredible teammates, past and present, who have helped me grow and improve as a player and a person, I would like to say thank you to you all. Anything I have achieved here would not have been possible without you.

"And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool - the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me.

"You'll Never Walk Alone. Philippe."

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