The Brazil international endured a difficult time at Camp Nou before making the temporary switch to Aston Villa in January

Philippe Coutinho says he does not regret his decision to leave Liverpool to join Barcelona.

The Brazil international spent almost five years with the Anfield side before agreeing to join Barcelona in January 2018 in a deal worth a total £142 million.

Despite a bright start to life at Camp Nou, he struggled to maintain his place in the starting XI and was soon loaned out to Bayern Munich.

Coutinho made 106 appearances overall for the Catalan side before leaving for Aston Villa on loan in January.

Asked if he regrets leaving Anfield in the first place, Coutinho told ESPN: “No. At certain times we have to make decisions, and one of my big dreams was to play for Barcelona.

“At that moment I decided to make that decision, but always with great affection, respect and gratitude for Liverpool and for the friendships over the years Ive been in the club.

“At that moment I had a decision to make and I dont regret it.”

The 29-year-olds return to England saw him link up with his former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard at Villa.

The legendary midfielder was appointed the clubs head coach in November and Coutinho says it is an honour to be working with him again.

“I always admired him a lot. For me, it was an honour to have played with him,” he said. “Now having him as a coach, with the experience he has, training has been strong and demanding.

“He has great ambitions, I am happy to be here and I hope to respond to what he expects by helping our team to achieve our goals.

“For me, it was an honour to be part of his career as a player, and now, as a coach, I feel even more honoured.

“I have always had this relationship of admiration and respect. I wish I had that opportunity to work with him again. Hes a guy whos very open to all players and has a lot of influence in the group.”

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