Philippe Coutinho for Barcelona on FIFA 18 – best position, stats and potential rating

Philippe Coutinho has finally secured his dream move to Barcelona, signing from Liverpool for a club record fee of €160 million.

The Brazil international is a brilliant signing for La Liga’s leaders, but gives manager Ernesto Valverde a selection headache when deciding where best to play the 25-year-old.

Similarly, FIFA 18 gamers have a Coutinho conundrum on their hands if they usually play as Barcelona in Online Seasons or Career Mode.

To make it easier for Valverde and eSports players, Goal investigates what you should do with Coutinho at Barcelona.

Coutinho’s best position at Barcelona in FIFA 18

FIFA 18 Barcelona Coutinho

The simplest and most obvious role for Coutinho is the one his in-game version is assigned to automatically. In FIFA 18, Coutinho is a left-winger by default, and is Barcelona’s highest-rated player in that position after his January transfer.

Gerard Deulofeu currently occupies that role in the default Barcelona 4-3-3 formation, but Coutinho is a big improvement on the former Everton wideman overall. This will give the Blaugrana an unstoppable attacking trio of Coutinho, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

With Ousmane Dembele now available after injury for Valverde (and always available in game for FIFA 18 players), another option is to have a front three of Coutinho, Suarez and Dembele, with Messi dropping back into midfield to dictate the game from there.

Alternatively, Coutinho’s excellent passing and dribbling ability mean he could be used as part of Barcelona’s midfield three or else on the left in a four-man midfield. With Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Paulinho competing for central midfield spots, there is an abundance of choice in the middle of the park.

A 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-4-2 approach would allow for Messi to partner Suarez in attack so depending on your playstyle, it could be an excellent formation with Coutinho wide left or in central midfield. If you really want to pack the midfield, Barcelona have enough quality centre-backs to even play a three-at-the-back formation with Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti protecting Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s goal.

FIFA 18: Coutinho’s Barcelona stats

FIFA 18 Barcelona Coutinho

The only drawback about playing Coutinho as a left-winger in a world-class three-man attack is his pace rating compared to some of Barcelona’s forwards. As always, pace is important in FIFA 18.

Neither Suarez nor Messi have over 90 pace, and Coutinho’s 82 pace is much less than the 93 score of Deulofeu or Dembele’s 91 pace stat. However, the former Liverpool attacker makes up for his lower pace stat with higher shooting and passing scores than both Deulofeu and Dembele, and the same dribbling rating as the latter.

He also has a four-star weak foot meaning he can pass and shoot from both sides, as well as four-star skill moves which ensure he can do almost every trick and flick in FIFA 18. Only Dembele has five-star skill moves from the entire Barcelona squad.

Player Pace Shooting Passing Dribbling
Philippe Coutinho 82 78 83 88
Gerard Deulofeu 93 70 75 87
Ousmane Dembele 91 76 75 88
Ivan Rakitic 65 84 86 82
Andres Iniesta 71 70 87 90
Sergio Busquets 40 59 79 74
Andre Gomes 68 71 78 78
Arda Turan 71 73 81 84
Paulinho 76 74 74 77
Denis Suarez 79 74 81 83

Coutinho’s in-game workrates are also fantastic with high attacking and high defending, meaning he will track back to help out in midfield or defence and then burst forward quickly to build counter-attacks.

His pace may be less than Barca’s other attackers, but is higher than all of their central midfielders, including Denis Suarez, Rafinha and Andre Gomes. Only Iniesta has better dribbling than him, and his four-star weak foot easily allows him to spread the play from the centre of the park.

Coutinho’s 88 long shot rating means he is a danger from outside the box, and he also offers another option from free-kicks when Barcelona are awarded a set-piece within shooting range. His shot power, free-kick accuracy and curve ratings are all above 80, meaning he can take frees from anywhere – and score.

FIFA 18: Coutinho’s Barcelona potential

FIFA 18 Coutinho Barcelona

As well as experiencing the joy of playing with Coutinho at Camp Nou in Online Seasons, many FIFA 18 players will want to see how the Brazil international develops at Barcelona in Career Mode.

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How will Coutinho do at Barcelona? Will he help them to La Liga and the Champions League? He played in six different seasons with Liverpool, but won no trophies at Anfield, so is eager to bag some team honours to go with the individual honours he has to his name like being named Liverpool’s player of the year twice and his inclusion in the Premier League Team of the Year and the Europa League Team of the Season.

Coutinho is currently rated 86 overall in FIFA 18, but has the potential to reach 89 in career mode using the current database. EA Sports release updates to the database throughout the year, which means that current and potential ratings can fluctuate depending on their real-life performances. His transfer to Barcelona could increase his potential rating further. For example, Dembele has a current rating of 83 but a potential of 92, which is a big increase on his 78 current and 90 potential ratings when he was with Borussia Dortmund.

Deulofeu has an 89 potential rating in FIFA 18, having already got a one-point increase from when the game was released in September. Nobody would believe that Deulofeu will end up being a better player than Coutinho in the short or long term, so EA Sports will surely update the Brazilian’s potential rating to reflect his status as the current second most expensive player ever.


How Neymar’s transfer allowed Barcelona to buy Coutinho as part of €307m spending spree

Five months after his move to Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar is still a significant presence at Barcelona. He is no longer scoring goals for the Catalan club, of course, but his world-record €222 million move has allowed the Blaugrana to spend in excess of €300m over successive transfer windows for the first time in their history.

Quite simply, without the sale of Neymar, the subsequent signings of former Borussia Dortmund starlet Ousmane Dembele and ex-Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho would have been impossible.

Even though Barca have spent significant sums in recent years, the Catalans had never previously undertaken such an outlay: a grand total of €307m on six players – Dembele (€105m), Coutinho (€120m), Paulinho (€40m), Nelson Semedo (€30m) and Gerard Deulofeu (€12m).

Barcelona Transfers PS

It is worth noting that the €5m signing of Marlon Santos from Fluminense was agreed before June 30 and, thus, was not included in Barca’s summer transfer budget.

However, must also remember that as well as splashing €307m in fees, Barca have also agreed to clauses that could see them hand over an additional €40m in bonuses for both Coutinho and Dembele, meaning they could end up paying €160m and €145m for the pair, respectively, while there is also a potential €5m to be tagged on to the deal with Benfica for right-back Semedo.

Nevertheless, the financial impact has been much less severe than those figures indicate – and all because Barca received the vast sum of €222m when PSG agreed to pay Neymar’s release clause last August.

Neymar PSG 04082017

Of that income, Barca put €198m into their budget for new transfers, with the other €24m used for repayments and other costs.

Taking that into account, the Blaugrana have a net transfer spend of €114m across the past two windows, which is not too far above their original transfer budget at the beginning of last summer.

Therefore, it is clear that Neymar’s sale allowed for the arrival of Dembele and also Coutinho, who accepted giving up part of his salary at Liverpool so that the Reds would belatedly agree to his transfer to Barcelona.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona presentation

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In addition, Liverpool should not have any problems in receiving the funds from Barca, because the Liga leaders have enough money to pay for Coutinho, largely thanks to the sale of Neymar.

However, Barca may need to plan again for the future as there is now nothing left from the Neymar money and next summer will start with multi-million payments due in variables to both the Reds and Borussia Dortmund for the transfers of Coutinho and Dembele, respectively, as well as Benfica (as part of the Semedo deal).

Still, with Coutinho having now been added to a side presently nine points clear at the top of La Liga, Barca will be confident that their historic investment in their playing squad will reap huge dividends.


Look away, Liverpool fans! Suarez welcomes Coutinho to Barcelona

Luis Suarez has vowed to help Philippe Coutinho achieve his dreams following his transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona.

The Brazil star finalised his move to Camp Nou on Monday, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract after a reported fee of €160 million was agreed between the clubs.

Suarez, who played alongside Coutinho at Anfield until he joined Barca in 2014, is looking forward to great success with the playmaker after being reunited.

Writing on Twitter alongside a picture with Coutinho, Suarez said: “Welcome my friend, how nice [it] is to share [a] team with you again.

“Lots of success in this new stage [sic], we will achieve them all together!”

Coutinho had earlier met Gerard Pique and Paulinho on his first full day at the club.


‘Go and buy Verratti!’ – Liverpool urged to sign ‘brilliant’ midfielder as Coutinho replacement

Liverpool have been urged to sign Marco Verratti to replace Philippe Coutinho by the club’s former director Christian Purslow.

The Reds confirmed the loss of their star player on Saturday as he brought an end to constant speculation by completing a €160 million move to Barcelona.

With 12 goals and eight assists to his name this season, Coutinho has played a key role in Liverpool’s campaign in the Premier League and Champions League, leaving the club with the difficult task of replacing him halfway through the season.

But ex-managing director Purslow says Jurgen Klopp’s side must push for a “brilliant” player to replace the Brazil international, pointing out Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Verratti as the star they need to maintain the quality of their squad.

“Go and buy Marco Verratti from PSG,” he said on Sky Sports.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona

“Who has won the league in the last two years? Leicester and Chelsea. What was the common denominator? N’Golo Kante.

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“Would he have made Liverpool better? Indisputably. He is a world-class player, I just think Liverpool have to aim high.

“I don’t want fine, I want brilliant, because they just sold brilliant. ‘Fine’ gets you fourth, fifth, or sixth.”

Liverpool are currently fourth in the Premier League table, two points behind Chelsea and three ahead of Tottenham, while they have been drawn with Porto in the last-16 of the Champions League.


Gerrard: Liverpool will miss ‘wonderful footballer’ Coutinho

Steven Gerrard accepts Liverpool will miss “wonderful footballer” Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian formally completed his dream move to Barcelona on Monday.

Liverpool were able to repel a series of offers for Coutinho in August, but the Premier League side allowed the playmaker to make the move to Camp Nou and become Barca’s most expensive signing after the January transfer window opened.

Coutinho reportedly paid around £10 million of his own money to help push through a deal reported to be worth up to £142 million, setting a record for a transfer involving a British club.

And Gerrard, who played with Coutinho towards the end of his own Anfield playing career, believes it will be difficult to replace the 25-year-old, who scored 41 Premier League goals for Liverpool.

“I’m still digesting it as a Liverpool fan,” Gerrard, now an academy coach at the club, told BT Sport.

“I’m not surprised by it. I know Liverpool have done everything they can to keep him and they fought very hard to keep him until the summer.

“But when a kid’s got a dream, a South American, that he wants to play for Barcelona and he thinks this is the only opportunity he’s going to get, then it’s very difficult to stop it.

“There’s no doubt about it, Liverpool will miss him. He’s a wonderful footballer, a great person and to be fair to him he hasn’t downed tools at all. I respect his decision and wish him all the best.”

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Jurgen Klopp’s side have been linked with players including Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez and Monaco’s France international Thomas Lemar to fill the void left by Coutinho, and Gerrard backed his club to spend the money wisely.

“Liverpool will go on,” Gerrard added. “They’ve got big money for him and I’m sure they’ll replace him with the right people.”


‘Coutinho €160m pricetag a bit high!’ – Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic concedes the price Barcelona have had to pay to prise Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool is “a bit high”, but hopes the Brazilian can help secure the LaLiga title.

Coutinho will cost Barca €160 million, making him the third most expensive player of all time, behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who will move to Paris Saint-Germain on a permanent deal from Monaco at the end of the season for €180m.

And Rakitic, who will now face increased competition for a place in Barca’s midfield, believes the Coutinho fee is a sign of the times.

“My opinion doesn’t matter, but the price has gone a bit high, that’s what the market dictates,” he is quoted as saying by Marca .

“Every great player is welcome here. I congratulate the president and everyone else who made it possible for him to be here.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona

“He is one of the family now, we are going to enjoy him a lot, he’s now at the biggest club in the world.”

Coutinho will not be eligible to feature in the Champions League this season but will boost Barca’s bid for a domestic double, with the Catalans leading Atletico Madrid by nine points at the top of La Liga.

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“We are happy another player has joined us, one who is among the very best,” added Rakitic.

“Obviously, he can’t play in the Champions League, but we already knew that.

“He will help us in La Liga and hopefully the Copa del Rey, but we must give him time to settle.”


‘I will play anywhere’ – Coutinho just happy to be at Barca with Messi, Suarez & Iniesta

Philippe Coutinho is a happy man. Left frustrated as his prospective move to Barcelona from Liverpool failed to materialise in the summer, the Brazilian finally completed his transfer to Camp Nou on Saturday. And he made all the right noises at his official presentation on Monday.

Not so long ago, it was Neymar trying to persuade his international team-mate to join him at the Catalan club, and although the two men will not be colleagues at Camp Nou after the former Santos forward left for Paris Saint-Germain in August, it is that transfer that ultimately led to this one.

When Neymar departed in a world record €222 million move, Barca immediately set their sights on Ousmane Dembele and Coutinho. The French forward arrived in the summer for an initial €105m, Coutinho on Saturday in a €160m package.

The Brazilian was picked up at the airport by a close friend, former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez, and watched on television as Barcelona beat Levante 3-0 in La Liga on Sunday afternoon.

Coutinho quote

Monday was dubbed ‘Coutinho Day’ by the Blaugrana and it started early, with a thorough two-part medical examination starting at 7:30am, a transfer to Camp Nou at midday, the signing of his contract half an hour later, followed by a photoshoot on the pitch, his unveiling in front of the fans and finally a meeting with the press.

The 25-year-old will be out for around 20 days with a thigh problem and although he was pictured with his new Barca shirt on Monday, there was still no number.

Mischievously asked by a journalist if he would like to wear the number 10 at his new club, he replied, in reference to Lionel Messi: “There’s only one number 10 in Barcelona. He’s the best player in the world, the ultimate number 10.” Barca later revealed the Brazilian will wear the number 14 made famous by Johan Cruyff.

Coutinho will be the 33rd Brazilian to play for Barca and arrives in a deal that eventually be worth €160m, making him the most costly player in the history of the Catalan club and the third-most expensive of all time. He signs for this season and five more, while his release clause is set at €400m.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona presentation

Coutinho Barcelona presentation

One of the talking points surrounding his signing has concerned his role on the pitch, with some saying he will operate as a forward and others seeing him as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta in midfield.

“Iniesta is a genius and it is a great honour to be able to spend time with him and learn from him,” the Brazilian said. And he added: “I don’t mind which position I play – that’s up to the coach.”

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Coutinho revealed that he had spoken to Neymar after the transer was completed. “He congratulated me,” the 25-year-old said. And he also said that Suarez had played a key part in his decision. “He didn’t stop writing to me,” he told the media. “He sent me so many messages and he helped me find a house.”

Barcelona is now Coutinho’s new home and it is a familiar one as he had a spell on loan with Espanyol earlier on in his career. However, there is no doubt where his allegiance lies now as he described the Blaugrana as “the greatest club in the world”.

The idea is that he will help to make the team even greater on the pitch (although he will not be able to play in the Champions League this season) too. And he is clearly excited to be here.


Coutinho signing might have won La Liga for Barcelona – Simeone

Diego Simeone believes Barcelona have taken “a very important step” towards the La Liga title with the signing of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazil star completed his transfer to the Catalans on Monday for a reported fee of €160 million, a record outlay for the club and the biggest fee ever paid by a team from Spain.

With Barca unbeaten after 18 league games and already nine points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, Simeone fears Coutinho’s arrival could prove to be a decisive blow in the title race.

“It’s healthy and important that someone has the chance to sign players like Coutinho, although he can’t play in the Champions League. It makes La Liga much stronger,” the Atletico boss told a news conference.

“With the gap that Barcelona have, it’s a very important step.”

Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid

Atletico face Lleida in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Tuesday, having claimed a 4-0 win in the first game last week.

Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Jan Oblak, Koke, Sime Vrsaljko, Saul Niguez, Jose Gimenez and Thomas Partey have all been left out of the squad after playing in the first-leg win.

With a number of players being rested, Simeone plans to give Vitolo his debut, while Diego Costa is likely to feature as he is suspended for Saturday’s LaLiga trip to Eibar.

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“Vitolo only just arrived and he has to get used to the team’s need for his talent to help us. He is working enthusiastically, he’s ready and he’ll start the game,” said Simeone.

“The idea is that he [Costa] can’t be there against Eibar, so he’ll have minutes.

“The arrival of big, important players, like those who have come in the January market, help the team and the players notice that. Obviously the team improves and the people outside the club can see that.”


Coutinho sale to Barcelona hurts Liverpool, says McManaman

Steve McManaman believes the £142 million sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona will hurt Liverpool but hopes that Adam Lallana can step up and take his place.

Coutinho has been pursued by the Catalan giants since the summer, and Barcelona finally have their man after Liverpool initially resisted the sale of the star creator. 

A Liverpool legend who played in Spain with Real Madrid, McManaman thinks Coutinho will be missed by the Reds despite their other talents. He also believes, however, that fans will accept the transfer after Coutinho played well in his final months at the club. 

“It will hurt them [to lose Coutinho] but they have got a lot of attacking players when they are all fit,” the BT Sport pundit said. “Lallana doesn’t play when they’re all fit even. Coutinho is a great player. He gives them something different and he will be a big loss for Liverpool.

“When you talk about that kind of person going to Barcelona, when he does eventually go for that kind of money, he can unlock different moments. [Mohamed] Salah, [Roberto] Firmino and [Sadio] Mane have all got their plus points, but I think Coutinho has something different.

Bournemouth vs. Liverpool

“He is a Brazilian who wants to go to Barcelona for family reasons. We all understand that. The fact he has stayed for a while and played well, Liverpool got good money for him — I think he will go with fans’ blessings.”

McManaman experienced a similar situation to Coutinho while at Liverpool, leaving the club on a free transfer following 364 appearances after coming to an agreement with Real Madrid in 1999. 

He isn’t surprised that Coutinho showed a good mentality to remain in form despite constant talk around his future for the past six months.

Steve McManaman

“I did that with Liverpool, I knew in January and February that I was leaving, but I still had to play well until the end of the season,” McManaman said. “I don’t think that’s a problem, no. I just think that people have their own personal stories.

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“Alexis Sanchez is getting stick at the moment at Arsenal, but every time I see them play he seems to be their star man. Yet, if Arsenal struggle he gets the blame, when they win someone else gets the credit.

“Coutinho has been fine and I expected him to be fine, knowing the player that he is.”

BT Sport is where the best in sport go head to head, bringing you live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Emirates FA Cup


Barcelona unveil Coutinho at Camp Nou

Philippe Coutinho has been presented as a Barcelona player for the first time.

The Catalan giants have agreed a deal reportedly worth up to £142 million with Liverpool to bring the Brazilian playmaker to Camp Nou, after a series of bids failed in August.

Coutinho will be formally unveiled on Monday, with a photo shoot on the Camp Nou pitch to be followed by a press conference.

But Barca offered a glimpse of Coutinho in Barcelona colours in a video posted to the club’s official Twitter account after Sunday’s home win against Levante.

Coutinho is shown walking out on stage and posing for the cameras, waving to the photographers and offering a double thumbs-up for the flashbulbs.

The 25-year-old then sent a message to his new club’s fans ahead of Monday’s formalities.

“Hi Barcelona fans, I’m already here,” Coutinho said. “It’s a dream come true and I hope to see you tomorrow.”

Without Coutinho, Barca beat Levante 3-0 to stretch their cushion at the top of the La Liga table to nine points, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paulinho on the scoresheet.

“He has arrived at the club he always wanted to be at,” said Barca forward Luis Suarez, Coutinho’s former Liverpool team-mate.

“I am delighted because I have a great relationship with Philippe. We have to make him feel at home because sometimes it is very tough to change clubs.

“Everyone knows the talent he has — he has been in brilliant form over the last few years. He is a professional, 200 per cent, and has proven his worth as a player.”