Villa’s Coutinho still wears lucky bracelet Messi gave him three years ago


PHILIPPE COUTINHO still wears the lucky bracelet Lionel Messi gave him three years ago at Barcelona.

Messi was first given the bracelet by journalist Rama Pantarotto after lacking a penalty in Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland in June 2018.

The footballing legend then saved it, carrying it round his ankle, which surprised Pantarotto after they met once more after Argentina beat Nigeria that very same month.

The lucky appeal had belonged to Pantarotto’s mum however Messi was about to present it to Coutinho, who on the time was struggling for type at Barca in 2019.

And it seems even now, the Brazilian ahead treasures the bracelet as he wrote it on the unveiling of his mortgage transfer to Villa.

He will hyperlink up with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, the present Villa supervisor.

Gerrard, 41, mentioned: “He is a implausible expertise, we’re lucky to have him and on the proper time he will likely be unleashed.

“His identify alone evokes folks, what he has completed within the recreation evokes folks. I’ve little doubt in any respect we are going to see the true Philippe Coutinho in time.

“I don’t purchase into this ‘he never had the best time at Barcelona’. This is a child who has gained leagues at Barcelona and gained the Champions League at Bayern.

“He is hungry to play. If we can get him feeling good and the confidence back, Phil Coutinho is still inside Phil Coutinho.”

Coutinho, 29, can be joined by ex-Barca left-back Lucas Digne, 28, in arriving this month.

Gerrard confirmed the pair are each accessible to play in opposition to Manchester United at house on Saturday.

He mentioned: “They’re accessible. Philippe’s educated for three days now with no points.

“We clearly should construct his match sharpness and match health up. Lucas is barely completely different.

“He’s been concerned in group coaching for fairly a while and he’s been accessible for Everton earlier than he arrived.

“They’re both available for selection with the group and they’re both in a good place but, obviously, decisions will come off the back of information we’ve had of both players over the last couple of days.”
Philippe Coutinho training with Aston Villa

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