Here’s Why Philippe Coutinho changed his nationality

PHILIPPE COUTINHO has successfully gained a Portuguese passport that ends Barcelona’s selection problem due to La Liga rules.

Spain’s top division dictates that clubs can only recruit three players from outside the European Union.

With the addition of Chilean Arturo Vidal and Brazilians Malcom and Arthur, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde was having to leave one out.

But Coutinho has managed to find a loophole by gaining a passport from Portugal, the country where his wife Aine is from and with whom he has been married for three years.

Brazilian playmaker Coutinho received the paperwork 42 hours before the Spanish Super Cup, which takes place on Sunday night.

Valverde’s team will take on Sevilla at the Stade Batouta in Morocco.

And now Coutinho has his new passport Valverde will have all four players available for selection.

Coutinho is preparing to begin his first full season at Barcelona having joined from Liverpool in a club record 142million deal.

Malcom arrived from Bordeaux earlier this summer, in a deal believed to be worth 37m.

And Arthur, the 21-year-old midfielder, signed from Brazilian club Gremio for 28m.

Champions Barcelona begin the La Liga season on August 18 at the Camp Nou against Alaves.

TheSun.com