Ronald Koeman has praised Philippe Coutinho for scoring his first goal in 11 months after coming off the bench in Barcelona in a 3-1 win against Valencia on Sunday.
Koeman says he has 'always believed' in the midfielder's abilities and insisted his strike against Valencia was an 'important step' in his career at the club.
The Barcelona manager also insisted that Coutinho gave his team the 'freedom' they needed to 'control the game', adding that 'physically he is just getting better and better'.
When asked about Coutinho's performance in his post-match conference, Koeman said: 'It was good.
'When he entered the game he was good. With his freedom we were able to control the game better. He knows how to score goals.
'He has taken an important step because I have always believed in Coutinho. Physically, he is getting better and better.'