Philippe Coutinho will always hold a special place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters for what he did in a red shirt between 2013 and 2017.

Having arrived as something of an unknown from Inter Milan during the tenure of Brendan Rodgers and on the recommendation of former boss Rafa Benitez, Coutinho became one of the best players in Europe on Rodgers’ and Jurgen Klopp’s watch.

That form, those dazzling goals and Coutinho’s sheer brilliance on the Anfield surface prompted Barcelona to move - and they eventually forked out £142million that took the Brazilian to the Camp Nou.

Things haven’t really worked out in Spain for Coutinho, who was let out on loan to Bayern Munich last season. This term he featured under Ronald Koeman, but suffered a knee injury in December and hasn’t been seen since.

He’s claimed trophies elsewhere, but with Liverpool is where Coutinho has enjoyed the best performances of his career so far - of that there is no doubt. He tallied up more than 200 appearances in a red shirt and scored more than 50 goals in that time.

This is his ultimate XI - a team made up of players with whom Coutinho has spent the most time on the pitch with in his career so far, according to the good folks over at Transfermarkt.

Indeed it’s Liverpool heavy across the board, which means there are some notable absentees; there is no Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta or Sergio Busquets, for example. Neither is Steven Gerrard in the XI - he just misses out.

We’ve lined up Coutinho’s XI in a 3-4-3 formation.

Simon Mignolet

The player who Coutinho has played with more than any other in his entire career thus far. Mignolet was a fixture in the side under Rodgers and Klopp, for the most part, and made over 200 appearances - 157 of them were shared with Coutinho.

Mignolet is well clear of the next keeper on the list, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Coutinho’s Barcelona colleague.

Gerard Pique

We’ve gone with a back three here to accommodate the number of appearances, so while Alberto Moreno and Jordi Alba, for example, have been on the pitch with Coutinho on more occasions than Pique, there are no right-backs anywhere near the top of the list.

Pique, much like former long-serving centre half partner Carles Puyol, is something of a Barca stalwart. He has made 75 appearances with Coutinho for the Blaugrana so far.

Dejan Lovren

Like many other players in this era, Lovren joined the club from Southampton in the summer of 2014. He was a regular pick in the side for a number of years, though his influence and participation waned in the final couple of years - by which time Coutinho had left Anfield - and last summer he joined Zenit St Petersburg.

Lovren played 100 times with Coutinho - the highest number of any defender on the list.

Manchester City (H)
Lovren was the highest appearing defender on the list for Coutinho's ultimate XI

Martin Skrtel

Lovren’s old centre-back partner, Skrtel makes up the back three. The Slovakian was an admirable servant for the Reds over the course of nine years, during which time he made 320 appearances in all competitions.

He and Coutinho combined to produce two goals for Liverpool - both of them in the same game! That in was the crazy 6-3 win at Cardiff, when the Brazilian teed up the defender on two occasions.

Lucas Leiva

Into the midfield, and we begin with Coutinho’s compatriot.

Lucas Leiva found a key role in the starting line-up over an extended period, having joined the club in 2007 from Gremio in his native Brazil and leaving the club ten years later with almost 350 appearances under his belt.

Lucas set Coutinho up for his goal in the Merseyside derby victory in 2017, and the pair also ran out in the yellow of Brazil together on a couple of occasions.

Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho appeared together for both Liverpool and Brazil
Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho appeared together for both Liverpool and Brazil

Emre Can

German international Can, now of Borussia Dortmund, was signed in 2014 and played regularly under Rodgers and Klopp alongside Coutinho in a deep lying midfield role, until the latter left the club.

Can actually has the fourth highest number of appearances alongside Coutinho on the list, all 113 coming in Liverpool colours. He set Coutinho up at Old Trafford in that Europa League tie back in 2016.

Jordan Henderson

Liverpool’s captain is the highest outfield player on the list, behind only Mignolet. Having arrived shortly before Coutinho, in the summer of 2011 as part of Kenny Dalglish’s overhaul that also involved Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jose Enrique, Henderson certainly remains the gem that the legendary Dalglish gifted the Reds.

He ran out 143 times with Coutinho.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrates with Jordan Henderson
Philippe Coutinho, while at Liverpool, celebrates a goal with Jordan Henderson

Adam Lallana

Henderson’s good mate Lallana, who only left Anfield himself last summer after six years of service, joined Coutinho for 96 of his Liverpool appearances which equates to just under 6,000 minutes of pitch time together.

Two of Klopp’s favourites, the pair were quite a force in the final third with their quick feet and quick thinking.

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Luis Suarez

Any Red who saw Suarez in the flesh will tell you how much of a magician he was. The Uruguayan was the talisman in the side which came so close in 2014 to winning the title, but Coutinho played a major role in that side too - of course netting the winner in that dramatic meeting with Manchester City.

Suarez, of course, reunited with Coutinho at Barca and the pair have combined to create 15 goals between them for either side.

Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez
Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez during their days together at Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge

Like Suarez, Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, who just also missed out on this team, Sturridge was another key component in that fabulous 2013/14 side.

Sturridge left the club having been a part of the Champions League-winning squad in 2019, but he never really reached those heights again of that campaign, during which time he scored 24 goals. Coutinho set Sturridge up in the 2016 Europa League final defeat to Sevilla.

Roberto Firmino

To round off the team, it can only really be Bobby Firmino. Like Lucas, Firmino is Coutinho’s countryman.

They were a pair that really began to flaunt their abilities under Klopp before the additions of Sadio Mane and, more recently, Mohamed Salah.

Like Sturridge, Coutinho’s relationship on the pitch with Firmino for Liverpool - and still for Brazil - was a particularly fruitful one. Firmino is third on the list behind Mignolet and Henderson.

Substitutes: Alberto Moreno (94 appearances), Steven Gerrard (81 appearances), Jordi Alba (80 appearances), Sergio Busquets (77 appearances), Lionel Messi (74 appearances), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (72 appearances), Raheem Sterling (73 appearances).