Philippe Coutinho says it was “special” to captain Liverpool as they thrashed Spartak Moscow 7-0 to book their place in the Champions League knockout round.
Coutinho, who continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona, scored his first ever hat trick in club football as Liverpool secured top spot in Group E with a superb performance at Anfield.
The Brazil international also took the armband with both Jordan Henderson and James Milner on the bench, and he told UEFA’s official website: “It was a very special night.
“I was very happy with my goals and the performance. It was. special to be captain — I think it was my first time here.
“We can face some big teams in the next round, but we’ll see who we’re drawn against.”
Reflecting on his hat trick, he added: “In the Champions League I think it’s my first one. I’ve scored a hat trick with Brazil, but this is important as well.
“It was a really good night. When you play at Anfield the atmosphere is amazing. I always said the fans here are unbelievable. Today is a good day.
Coutinho said his focus in 2018 is to continue playing well in order to secure a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad.