Coutinho explains the excitement of his first dinner date with Messi

Luis Suarez arranged the meeting between the Brazilian and the Argentine

Coutinho repasó los temas actuales en un programa de Brasil | Papo Cabeça

Philippe Coutinho doesn't like to talk too much. He's reserved, shy and, as the cliche goes, prefers to do his talking on the pitch. 

Joaquim Piera

@joaquimpiera

IN SPORT.ES

However, in a relaxed atmosphere he gave an interview to ESPN Brasil ahead of this summer's World Cup -- the interview was filmed at his home in Castelldefels.  

PRAISE FOR Iniesta

Coutinho spoke about Andres Iniesta's exit: "Everyone knows what Iniesta represents, but off the pitch he's a great person. When I signed, he was one of the first to send me a welcome message. For me, it was special to receive that message. It gave me a lot of confidence. 

"I'm someone who likes to observe what happens in training and try to learn. I did it with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool and now with Iniesta, because he's a player with great experience and a unique way of playing, dictating the rhythm of how Barça play. 

"I tried to absorb as much as I could from him, just like I do with Leo [Messi], too." 

Talking of Messi, Couthinho explained how he met him, at a dinner organised by Luis Suarez: "Luis and Leo are very close and me and Luis knew each other from Liverpool, so it was Luis that organised the meeting. 

"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." 

LOVING BARÇA

Coutinho is delighted to have signed for Barcelona, where "I hope to stay for many years to win as many titles as possible. When Barça's interest came up, I thought that it had always been my dream to come. That's something I can't deny. My biggest idol was Ronaldinho, now I have the same opportunity." 

On his first training session at the Ciutat Esportiva, he added: "[The quality] surprised me a lot, I realised that if you mess up in a rondo is't really tough to get out of the middle! 

"The way of playing at Barça is different. Sometimes you don't know if you have to accelerate the play or drop the rhythm, that's something you only learn with time, training and playing more games." 

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