Coutinho joins boyhood club Vasco da Gama in Brazil on loan from Aston Villa

Wed, Jul 10, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Coutinho joins boyhood club Vasco da Gama in Brazil on loan from Aston Villa

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Former Brazil international Philippe Coutinho has joined his boyhood club Vasco da Gama on a season-long loan from Premier League team Aston Villa.

"I lived a long time abroad, so this feels like coming back home, the place where I was raised, the place I love, the club I love," the 32-year-old midfielder said in a statement on Vasco's website on Wednesday.

He joined Villa in 2022 and has two years left on his contract. Coutinho played on loan for Qatar's Al-Duhail last season.

The Rio de Janeiro-based Vasco did not specify whether the loan is until the end of the current season in Brazil in December or the conclusion of the European season in the middle of next year.

"The magician is back!" Vasco said on social media with a photo of Coutinho wearing the team jersey. Coutinho, who started his professional career at the club in 2009, will wear No. 11.

Coutinho's former clubs include Inter Milan, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munch. He joined Barcelona in 2018 from Liverpool for a fee of up to 160 million euros (then $192 million).

He won two Spanish league titles with Barcelona, and a Champions League trophy with Bayern Munich in 2020. Coutinho won the Copa America with Brazil in 2019 and played in the 2018 World Cup.

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Vasco has fought against relegation in the Brazilian league in recent years. The club is currently 13th with 17 points after 15 matches. League leader and arch rival Flamengo has 31 points.

In his first stint with Vasco, Coutinho played 44 matches and scored five goals.

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