Despite being an international superstar, Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho is still (like the rest of us) just a Lionel Messi fan boy at heart.
The former Liverpool man has revealed just how excited and nervous he was to meet his new teammate following his move from the Premier League in January.
Coutinho has since learned that his five-time Ballon d’Or winning colleague is “an incredible person”, but admitted that he was nervous ahead of their first dinner together – which was arranged by Luis Suarez.
25-year-old Coutinho has enjoyed a brilliant start at Camp Nou, helping his side reclaim La Liga and lift the Copa del Rey. However, even for footballers, the thought of a new ‘job’ appears to be a daunting experience – especially when you’re new colleague is known all around the world for be the best at what he does.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, (via Sport), Coutinho explains how he first came into contact with Messi.
“Luis [Suarez] and Leo are very close and me and Luis knew each other from Liverpool, so it was Luis that organised the meeting,” Coutinho revealed.
“When you’re by Leo’s side you’re a little nervous, it was the same for me at Liverpool with Gerrard. With Leo, I thought: ‘You’re with the best player in the world!’ But I saw that he’s an incredible person and he’s super relaxed.
“When I got home I said to my wife: ‘Caramba! I have been eating with Messi!’ And we both laughed out heads off, it was really funny.”
It seems that even the players themselves can get a little starstruck. However, both Messi and Coutinho may have to start preparing for another top attacking talent moving into Catalonia this summer.
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, and it could only be a matter of time before he makes the switch.