Coutinho can be world's best if he stays at Liverpool – Lucio

The defender believes his countryman has the potential to become one of football’s greats and urged the playmaker to remain at Anfield

Philippe Coutinho can become the best player in the world – if he remains at Liverpool, according to former team-mate Lucio.

The Brazil international has become Jurgen Klopp’s centric playmaker with a number of scintillating performances since the German took charge at Anfield.

Fellow countryman Lucio, who played alongside the Reds star at Inter between 2009 and 2012, believes Coutinho has the ability to be the world’s very best and credits himself for the 23-year-old’s professionalism.

“I am very happy that he is having success at Liverpool,” Lucio told Sky Sports

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“There is potential to be the best player in the world, of that there is no doubt. But it will depend on what happens around him. He is only going to get better.

“When he was at Inter, he wasn’t playing and we got closer, and lived nearby to each other.

“My family got to know his family, and gave all our support, and we helped him achieve what he has with that support. Everything that he is doing now is down to his marriage and family. His attitude is perfect.”

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool for £8.5 million in 2013, has been linked with Barcelona in recent months.

However, Lucio says the attacker must turn down Camp Nou and remain on Merseyside, and expects Coutinho to prosper further under Klopp’s tutelage.

“I think that is a personal decision for him. Barcelona have a lot of great players –  that could leave him in the shadows,” Lucio added.

“Liverpool is the right place for him to become the best. He has his space, and can play where he wants.”

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