Philippe Coutinho (r.) is settling in very nicely with Bayern Munich since joining on loan from Barcelona in August. - © imago images / MIS
Philippe Coutinho (r.) is settling in very nicely with Bayern Munich since joining on loan from Barcelona in August. - © imago images / MIS

Philippe Coutinho: "Bayern Munich are more of a family than my old clubs"


Bayern Munich star Philippe Coutinho says he has never felt more at home than he does in the Bavarian capital, describing the record Bundesliga champions as "more of a family" than any of his former clubs.

It's only been a month since the 27-year-old playmaker traded Barcelona for Munich, joining Bayern on a season-long loan. The Brazilian has barely had time to don the famous Bavarian lederhosen and sink a few Maß at this month's Oktoberfest, but he's already a firm fan of Germany's third-biggest city, not to mention its premier football club.

"The first few days I was shown around the facilities, meeting my teammates and the coaches," he told Sky Sports, when asked how he was settling in. "Every day I feel a little better, I'm very happy. Bayern are more of a family than my old clubs."

September at Bayern Munich is quite unlike September at any other top football club... - 2019 Getty Images

It's a bold claim. Coutinho began his journey in European football as a teenager with Inter Milan back in 2010, but it was in England that he really came into his own, emerging as a world-class talent during a five-year stint with Liverpool (2013-18). He still has fond memories of his time on Merseyside – where he spent several years under former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp – but believes Munich is an even better fit.

"I know there is the atmosphere of Liverpool, but it's even more a family here at Bayern," he reiterated. "The fans have been brilliant with me and it's great to feel that positive energy. I've signed lots of autographs and I hope I haven't left anyone out!"

The Brazil international has made three Bundesliga appearances for Bayern so far, and he started again as they kicked off their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win at home to Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night. The ambitious Coutinho is hoping to help the Bavarian juggernauts conquer another Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League treble this term – but first he will try to come to grips with the language of Goethe…

Watch: Coutinho settling in at Bayern

"German is a very difficult language, but I've decided to learn a bit," he pledged. "Thiago helped me a lot in the first few weeks, because he has Brazilian nationality and speaks Portuguese. That's a big help for me, especially when I have to communicate."

For the time being, Coutinho will let his football do the talking as Niko Kovac's side bid to progress in Europe and unseat to leaders RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. With the backing of his family – both at home and at Säbener Straße – the Samba star is bound to soon have Bayern dancing to his tune.