Stoichkov urges Coutinho to remain in Barca

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 18: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona celebrates with his team mate Arthur of FC Barcelona after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on August 18, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Hristo Stoichkov has challenged Philippe Coutinho in open letter to live up to the billing in Barcelona amid speculations linking him to a move abroad.

The former Liverpool star man is struggling to replicate his Anfield form at the Camp Nou, with only eight goals scored so far this season after the big money move from the Reds.

But Barcelona great Stoichkov who enjoyed a decorated career at the club claimed he suffered similar issues to Coutinho and has thrown his support.

“The club is not an easy club and I, in my early months, was similar,” the Bulgarian wrote in Mundo Deportivo and cited on FourFourTwo.

“I know what it feels like when things do not go the way you want them to, but I am convinced that with work and sacrifice you will get there.

“You have everything in terms of quality. You are one of the best foreigners to have played for Barca.

“You have a lot of football left in your boots and the only thing you have to think about is enjoying it.

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“Enjoy it as you do with the Brazil team. I also tried to enjoy it as I did with the Bulgarian team and ended up enjoying it the same at Barca.

“You should never be discouraged because, from what I’ve seen, the fans are with you and they really want you to succeed.

“Think of it as the best hobby in the world and it will always support you, as it did with me.”

Stoichkov added: “Do not even think about changing team, as I have read that could happen.

“There is no other club like ours. It’s more than a club. And you will not find another team, with your friends [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez and Co, in which you can have such a great time doing what you like most, playing football.

“I wish you all the best, with all my heart. I am sure you will make history at Barca.”