Three years ago, Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho was given a good luck charm by then-Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.
Coutinho was struggling for form at the time. Messi, as Barcelona captain, tried to support the Brazilian playmaker and even allowed him to take a penalty in a Copa del Rey tie against Sevilla.
“Leo’s gesture shows how great it is,” Coutinho said, per FourFourTwo.
“Thanks to Leo, for letting me kick the penalty, that’s good for the confidence of the group.”
Messi gave Coutinho red ribbon
Coutinho’s inconsistencies at Barcelona have led him back to the Premier League, where he’s reunited with Steven Gerrard for the remainder of the 2021/22 season.
At this point, the 29-year-old’s permanent departure from the Camp Nou seems imminent and it might be best for both parties to move on.
Messi tried to get the best out of a player with bags of ability, though.
During his slump in early 2019, Messi gifted Coutinho a red ribbon as a good luck gesture.
Coutinho still wears red ribbon
Fans have noticed that the Brazilian playmaker still wears the ribbon to this day, as it was spotted on his wrist during his Aston Villa unveiling.
Where did the red ribbon come from?
The story of the red ribbon has taken on a life of its own.
During the 2018 World Cup, Messi was given the small band by TV reporter Rama Pantarotto, who told the forward: “My mum told me to give this to you. I carry her red ribbon for good luck. If you want, I can give it to you.
“It’s from my mum so make sure to keep it safe because you’re kind of jinxed now.”
The Argentine journalist interviewed Messi later on in the tournament and was stunned when the superstar lifted up the sock on his left foot to reveal the red ribbon.
Dybala and Martinez also have one
It seems like Messi now gifts these red ribbons to his teammates.
Not only has Coutinho worn one, but Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez have both been spotted with one, too.