Philippe Coutinho’s Champions League triumph with Bayern Munich can be a boost for Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann will find his best form, says Los Cules goalkeeper Neto.
Brazil playmaker Coutinho spent last term on loan at Bayern and won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble – the latter triumph including a star turn off the bench in an 8-2 battering of Barca in the quarter-finals.
Even though Bayern opted not to make the move permanent, it still appeared as though Coutinho’s future lay away from Camp Nou until Ronald Koeman’s arrival as head coach signalled a fresh lease of life at Barca.
Coutinho has two assists and a goal, as well as an 88.96 per cent pass success rate, from four LaLiga games this season and compatriot Neto is delighted to see him back playing at Barca.
“I am happy to have a friend like Coutinho back in the squad, with his quality,” he said at a news conference previewing Barca’s Champions League opener against Ferencvaros.
“He has shown his quality and that he is excited to return to the club. The Champions League title that he has won at Bayern will give him a lot of security and will give us a lot.”
Conversely, Griezmann has endured a slow start to the campaign, failing to score, assist or even create a chance for a team-mate yet from four appearances.
Much was expected of Griezmann when he arrived from Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 campaign but the France World Cup winner has struggled for top form at Camp Nou.
Neto, though, offered his backing to his under-fire team-mate.
“I see Griezmann very well, as always, we know what this profession is like, sometimes things turn out better and others worse,” he added.
“But I see him happy and working in training and I’m sure he will continue to provide us with many things as before.”
This week, it was reported Barca’s squad had signed a burofax against a 30 per cent reduction to pay, with only three players apparently not putting their name to the document.
Barca announced big losses to revenue, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Neto was reluctant to go into too much detail over the issue.
“On the salary issue, I think it would be incoherent to answer now,” he said.
“The whole squad and I are focused on the game and with being a personal and individual issue, each one has their opinion.
“The important thing now is the game and we are focused on getting a positive result.”