And so life without Philippe Coutinho begins for Liverpool.
The Brazilian completed his dream move to Barcelona this week in deal worth £142 million.
Coutinho tried to soften the blow by penning a heartfelt message to Liverpool supporters on Instagram.
“Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it,” the playmaker wrote.
“To the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart.”
“And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters. I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me.”
— yaa ☀☂ (@Aliazlkfl) January 9, 2018
Nice words, but they’re hardly going to sit well with Liverpool supporters who have now seen two of their best players head to the Camp Nou in recent years.
GERRARD SENT COUTINHO INSTAGRAM MESSAGE
Coutinho’s Twitter mentions may be filled with hurtful words and snake emojis, but he’s received some lovely messages from former and current Liverpool players.
On Tuesday, Steven Gerrard paid tribute by considering Coutinho “up there with the best I shared a pitch with” in an Instagram post.
“It hurts you have left because you are a special player, up there with the best I shared a pitch with,” Gerrard wrote alongside an image of himself with Coutinho.
“I want to wish you @phil.coutinho and your family all the best for the next stage of your career in Barcelona. Thank you for the special moments and memories over the last 5 years. YNWA”.
COUTINHO HAS RESPONDED
Coutinho has now responded to Gerrard’s words, and it’s clear just how much he appreciates being able to consider the iconic midfielder a former teammate.
“Steve, thanks so much for your kind words. It was an honour for me to play with such a legend as yourself,” he wrote.
“I learnt a lot from knowing you. Both off the pitch in my family life and also on the pitch.
“Thank you for all your support and encouragement in my years at Liverpool. Your belief in my helped me become a better player.
“I wish you and your family the best. @stevengerrard”.
Philippe Coutinho’s reply to Steven Gerrard’s Instagram post after the Brazilian’s transfer to Barcelona. 🔴🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/rmowcsXeYH
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) January 10, 2018
While Coutinho jumped at the chance to move to Spain, Gerrard frequently rejected the opportunity during his Liverpool career.
And that is precisely why Liverpool fans will forever love him.