Former Brazilian international Lucio has said that Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho could be the best player in the world, but only if he snubs a move to Barcelona, according to the Daily Express.
The 23-year-old has been one of the club’s brighter figures under new boss Jurgen Klopp, with reports claiming that Barcelona are now interested in snapping him up.
However, Lucio, who lined up alongside Coutinho at Inter Milan, believes that a move to Spain would only hinder his progress.
“I think that is a personal decision for him [Barca move], but Barcelona have a lot of great players, but that can put a shade on his play,” Lucio told Sky Sports.
“Liverpool is the right place for him to become the best. He has his space, and can play where he wants.”
Coutinho previously spent two-and-a-half years with Inter, but made just 28 appearances for the club during that time.
“I am very happy that he is having success at Liverpool,” Lucio added.
“There is potential to be the best player in the world, of that there is no doubt.
“But it will depend on what happens around him. He is only going to get better.
“When he was at Inter, he wasn’t playing and we got closer, and lived nearby to each other.
“My family got to know his family, and gave all our support, and we helped him achieve what he has with that support.
“Everything that he is doing now is down to his marriage and family. His attitude is perfect.”