Liverpool 'no longer the same without' Philippe Coutinho, says Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino has said that Liverpool “is no longer the same without” Philippe Coutinho following the latter’s sale to Barcelona this week.
Coutinho completed the switch to the La Liga giants on Monday for £142m following months of speculation over his future in the north-west.
The Brazilian playmaker, who has signed a five-year contract at the Nou Camp duo, struck up a close rapport with Firmino during their time together at Anfield and was even the forward's best man at his wedding in Maceio last summer.
In a post on Instagram, Firmino admitted that he would sorely miss his fellow compatriot at Anfield.
“Liverpool is no longer the same without you my magical brother,” he said.
“I wish you infinite success, that you enjoy life and realise all your dreams brother.
“God is always protecting you and your whole family. It was an honour to play with a magician like you.”
Coutinho was unveiled as a Barcelona player on Monday after Liverpool reluctantly agreed to the transfer.
In the wake of the move, the 25-year-old told Liverpool fans he hopes they understand why he left for the Nou Camp.
“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 said.
“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.
“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.”