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Barcelona handed big boost ahead of season start as key star gains EU citizenship

Barcelona have been handed a massive boost ahead of the start of the new season, as Philippe Coutinho has received a Portuguese passport, ending any problems Barcelona may have faced with adhering to La Liga’s registration rules.

The news that the former Liverpool man had been handed a Portuguese passport was earlier reported by The Sun.

See More: Key Barcelona duo linked with exits as Euro giants line up to raid Valverde’s squad

Following the summer arrivals of fellow Brazilians Arthur and Malcom, as well as the marquee signing of Chilean Arturo Vidal, boss Ernesto Valverde would have been faced with leaving one superstar out of his La Liga squad in order to adhere to La Liga’s rules.

The rules state that only three players from outside of the EU can be recruited to teams.

Samba superstar Coutinho received a Portuguese passport through a legal loophole, as his wife Aine is from Portugal and the couple have been married for three years, sharing two children together.

Take a look at the happy couple below:

Nossa Esmeralda ??

A post shared by Aine Coutinho (@ainee.c) on

With off-field matters now resolved, Ernesto Valverde will look forward to seeing his squad in action for the first time in a competitive scenario this season, when they face Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup tomorrow evening.

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