In the arjen robin jersey with the "10", philippe coutinho immediately gave a small sample of his skills on the ball.
The new top soccer star of FC bayern munchen first waved to individual groups of visitors in the stands at the allianz arena, who shouted his name loudly and enthusiastically. Afterwards, the "little magician" danced and juggled a bit with the soccer ball for the numerous TV cameras and photographers during his presentation.
"I am an ambitious type. I want to win important trophies," the 27-year-old brazilian had announced earlier in the presence of a larger entourage around his wife in the very well attended press room. He made a promise to the fans in munich: "from now on, when i’m wearing the bayern jersey, i’ll do my best."
The special number on the red bayern kit symbolized the immensely high expectations with which the ball virtuoso, who is only 1.72 meters tall, is starting the loan deal with FC barcelona, initially agreed for one year. "This is of course a great responsibility to put on the jersey of arjen robben, who was a great reference in soccer," said coutinho. Of course, winning the champions league is also a goal for him in munich.
It was only three months ago that the fans cheered robben’s last goal for FC bayern in the 5:1 win over eintracht frankfurt in the allianz arena. The legacy of the great dutchman who led bayern to the champions league title in the wembley final against dortmund in 2013-
triumph shot, now coutinho steps up as new "ten".
Robben’s "10" and franck ribery’s "7" were not really what the german record champion wanted to give away this season, bayern boss karl-heinz rummenigge told us. But coutinho and also the fans had wanted to show "quite purposefully": "the club relies fully on philippe coutinho!" sport director hasan salihamidzic even spoke extra on monday with robben because of the number assignment. "Arjen has no problem with it at all," assured rummenigge in view of the "more than worthy successor for the jersey with the 10".
Coutinho is being rolled out the red carpet by bayern bosses like hardly any player before him. He should become no less than the focal point of the offensive game, not on the left, not on the right, but centrally. "My favorite position to be able to give my best is the ten," said the player himself. In other words, the position in which thomas muller also prefers to operate most effectively.
Niko kovac will probably have to change the system from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 again. The coutino transfer project was carried out in close consultation with the coach, as rummenigge and salihamidzic emphasized. "Philippe can be the central point in our game. He will strengthen our team, but also give our game the spectacular touch," explained sporting director salihamidzic.
On tuesday coutinho will train with his new team for the first time. "I can’t wait. I want to be ready to play as soon as possible."He could make his bundesliga debut at schalke as early as saturday. "I don’t rule out that this can become a long-term partnership," rummenigge said.
After the one-year loan, whose fee of 8.5 million euros is, according to rummenigge, a "friendly price" of FC barcelona, there is a "not cheap" purchase option of 120 million euros – record for the bundesliga. If coutinho works his magic, bayern will pay.
In addition to footballing quality, the question of character also arises with the brazilian. After all, coutinho once struck out on his own from liverpool fc when he was desperate to join barcelona, where he couldn’t play the prominent role he had in mind alongside world star lionel messi. The fact that it didn’t work out that way at barca is "history" for coutinho. Before saying yes to FC bayern, he asked his new teammate thiago, as well as ex-bayern rafinha and lucio about the club. "I’m really very impressed," he said.
Coutinho was the missing piece of the puzzle from the club’s point of view. "We are convinced that we will play a successful season with this team. All of us at FC bayern are totally satisfied with the transfer market," said rummenigge. He proudly listed the big four who came: "two world champions from france" (lucas hernandez and benjamin pavard), "a vice world champion" (ivan perisic) "and a recent copa america winner": philippe coutinho.