Brazil manager Tite speaks about Phil Coutinho and how his performances for Liverpool will see him start in Willian’s place.
Liverpool fans love Philippe Coutinho. Since arriving in 2013, the midfielder has scored 31 goals in over 150 appearances. Not an overly impressive record but for Coutinho, quality comes before quantity and anyone who has watched him will testify to the superb level of quality in his finishes.
There has been more than one occasion where I have shouted for the Brazilian not to shoot from range, only for the net to ripple with yet another peach of a shot beating a ‘keeper from outside the box.
While Coutinho may have displayed his brilliance on club level, he hasn’t received too many opportunities on an international stage. Liverpool fans were outraged when Luiz Felipe Scolari didn’t take the number 10 to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup but instead took Shaktar Donestk’s Bernard.
This is all beginning to change as Coutinho’s performance in Klopp’s exciting Liverpool team have caught the attention of Brazil manager Tite.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Brazil boss responded to questions about the Reds’ midfielder, “Why Coutinho instead of Willian? There’s a reason he is called the Magician [by Liverpool fans].
“It was a difficult decision for me, but right now this is Coutinho’s moment. And in football, you have to follow the moment.
“With his passes, Coutinho opens the lines, creates space. I like his mobility, he was influential in both games when he came on.
“The two appearances by Coutinho… his moment, the composition. It is with mastery, not only because the opponent was tired.”
While it may be great for Coutinho that he is finally getting the recognition from his country that he deserves, the traveling he does while on international duty with Brazil can take its toll. Upon returning to Liverpool after the last international break, the midfielder had completed a 12,000-kilometer round-trip.
Special arrangements had to be made for Coutinho to return to Liverpool in time for the club’s clash with Leicester. Given Klopp’s preferred style of play, Coutinho may need to be brought off the bench against Manchester United if he suffers from fatigue after yet another exhausting trip.
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