Barcelona's Coutinho doubtful for Copa del Rey final after hamstring injury
Coutinho was taken off in the second half and replaced by teenage forward Abel Ruiz, who came on for his first-team debut.
Barca have since confirmed that the former Liverpool playmaker has strained his left hamstring and will be out for an expected 10 days. He will miss the last league game of the season at Eibar on Sunday but could return just in time for the cup final against Valencia on May 25.
Ousmane Dembele is also in a race against time to be fit for the final at Real Betis’ Benito Villamarin stadium, while Luis Suarez has already been ruled out. The Uruguayan forward underwent surgery on a knee problem last week.
Even before going off injured, Coutinho had endured a tough evening at Camp Nou following Barca’s Champions League collapse against Liverpool last Tuesday.
The Brazilian’s every touch for the first 20 minutes against Getafe was whistled by the home supporters as he was made one of the main scapegoats for the side’s 4-0 semifinal loss at Anfield.
Those whistles continued into the second half but they gradually became mixed with applause as other sections of the ground looked to get behind the players.
It could have been Coutinho’s last outing at Camp Nou, after sources told ESPN FC following the Liverpool defeat that he is “not a Barcelona player” and he could be the first casualty of their European exit.
Sources also confirmed that a number of the coaching staff are disappointed with the club’s record signing’s performances — with his displays in both legs against Liverpool deemed the final straw by many.
Coutinho, who has scored 11 goals in 53 appearances this season, will hope that he has another chance to prove his critics wrong in the Copa del Rey but even if he doesn’t make the final his season is not over with the Copa America around the corner.
Hosts Brazil kick off the tournament against Bolivia on June 15 and, despite his struggles with his club, Coutinho remains a key player for the Selecao.