Once he was the man worth 135 million, now Philippe Coutinho returns home

Fourteen years after his departure, Philippe Coutinho returns to Vasco da Gama. The Brazilian club is loaning the former star player for a season from Aston Villa.

Once he was the man worth 135 million, now Philippe Coutinho returns home
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Coutinho was presented at Vasco on Wednesday, the club where he was trained and as a young boy earned a transfer to Inter Milan.

The Brazilian moved from the Italian top club to Liverpool in January 2013 and experienced his best period as a player there. This resulted in a major transfer to Barcelona in January 2018, with a fee of 135 million euros.

At Barcelona, Coutinho never regained his Liverpool form. The partnership was a disappointment, leading to loan spells at Bayern Munich and Aston Villa, before the latter club permanently acquired the midfielder for twenty million euros. He showed flashes of his talent, but overall, it was still too little.

Coutinho played last season in Qatar for Al-Duhail SC, and now he will spend a year at Vasco. "I am very happy," says the 68-time international on the Brazilian club's website. "I have lived abroad for a long time and now I really feel like I'm coming home. It feels good to be back in the place where I grew up, at the club that I love."

Coutinho's return to Vasco da Gama is seen as a significant move for both the player and the club. For Vasco, bringing back a player of Coutinho's caliber and experience is a major boost, especially as they look to strengthen their squad and improve their standing in the Brazilian league. The club's supporters are excited to see a familiar face return, hoping that Coutinho can provide the creativity and flair that made him a standout during his time in Europe.

For Coutinho, this move represents an opportunity to rejuvenate his career in familiar surroundings. The midfielder has endured a challenging few years, struggling to find consistency and form since his high-profile transfer to Barcelona. His loan spells at Bayern Munich and Aston Villa offered glimpses of his potential, but injuries and competition for places hindered his ability to make a lasting impact.

Returning to Vasco allows Coutinho to play in a less pressured environment compared to Europe, where he can focus on enjoying his football again and contributing to his boyhood club's success. It also provides him with the chance to be closer to his family and reconnect with his roots, something that he has expressed as being very important to him.

Vasco da Gama's management and coaching staff are optimistic that Coutinho's experience and leadership will have a positive influence on the younger players in the squad. His journey through some of the world's top leagues and clubs has equipped him with invaluable knowledge that can benefit the team both on and off the pitch.

As Coutinho prepares to don the Vasco da Gama jersey once more, there is a sense of anticipation and hope that this homecoming will mark the beginning of a successful chapter in his career. The club and its fans are eager to see their prodigal son shine and help lead Vasco to new heights in Brazilian football.