Barcelona players still believe in Philippe Coutinho after his disasterclass vs Real Madrid


Another game, another poor performance from Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.

Wednesday night's clash with Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey once again saw the 26-year-old fail to make an impact as Barca salvaged a 1-1 draw.

Ernesto Valverde started Coutinho on the left wing - which, it has to be said, isn't his natural position - and he was completely outshone by Malcom, who dazzled on the opposite flank.

Coutinho's confidence is at an all time low and Barcelona fans are calling for him to not only be dropped, but also sold this summer.

His decline since moving to Catalonia from Liverpool for £142m last year is staggering and sections of the Spanish press believe he's only going to get worse.

"On a day where he needed to take the reins in the absence of [Lionel] Messi, Coutinho had one of his worst games since he arrived at Barca," Lluís Mascaró wrote in his column for Sport.

"That is saying a lot, because he has spent months at a lamentable level. In the 60 minutes he was on the pitch - until [Messi] came on for him - he practically didn't enter in the game.

"And when he did it was always choosing the wrong option. Any ball that arrived to the Brazilian was a lost ball.

"Coutinho has been at Barca for a year now and is only getting worse. Worse and worse. Unjustifiable for a player that cost €150m.

"The most expensive signing, in the history of the club. Not even Messi's support, Valverde's therapy and [Josep Maria] Bartomeu's advice can fix him.

"Nothing is working. There is no excuse. Or forgiveness. He must react or find an immediate exit in June. Before he becomes unsellable."

Clearly the Spanish press have fallen out of love with Coutinho - but what do his teammates at Barcelona think?

The latest report from Sport has detailed how Barca players still have complete faith in Coutinho and have called for patience, because they're confident he will rediscover his form.

Coutinho can take comfort in the knowledge that his teammates believe in him, but he can't go on much longer like this.

At Liverpool the Brazil international was world class and, for various reasons, he's lost that spark. Hopefully it won't be long before he finds it again.

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