Philippe Coutinho - Player of the Week
Coutinho creates some Brazilian magic to stun Stoke
Brazilian international, Phillipe Coutinho, left it late, but in the 86th minute scored a fantastic goal to give Liverpool a 1-0 win away to Stoke City. It was the home team that had the best chance in the first half, when right-back Glen Johnson, who moved from Liverpool to Stoke in the summer, hit his shot over the bar. Ibrahim Affelay, who Stoke signed from Barcelona, showed some nice touches in midfield, but, generally, it was a match with few chances. Just as it looked like the match would finish in a 0-0 draw, Coutinho hit the winning goal, and it was a goal that would light up any match. The Brazilian showed great strength to control the ball and spin away from a defender, before moving forward and hitting an amazing shot into the top corner.
"It was a great turn, he’s got away from the midfield player and hit a wonderful strike. It was a great strike to win the game." Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers.
Is this revenge for Liverpool's record defeat?
This was the second consecutive Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool. The final match of the 2014/15 season finished Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool. This was Stoke's biggest ever Premier League victory and Liverpool's worst ever Premier League defeat, in fact, it was Liverpool's worst defeat since 1963! Stoke scored five in the first half and Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, apologised to Liverpool fans after the match. Before last weekend's match, new Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, said it is a match that he won't forget for a long time. After the match, Henderson spoke more about last season's match and said, "It's a new season and a new start, but at the back of our mind now that's gone".
“It [the 6-1] was a one-off game, a unique game. But it still happened and you have to be better and more resolute. We were working in preseason making sure our defensive organisation was better.” Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers.
What do we know about Phillipe Coutinho?
Philippe Coutinho was born on 12 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, which is the second largest city in Brazil and famous for its carnival, beaches and football. Growing up next to the Maracana Stadium, one of the most iconic stadiums in world football, and with two older brothers, Cristiano and Leandro, who loved football, there was always a good chance that Coutinho would become a footballer. Like many kids in Brazil, Coutinho grew up playing Futsal on concrete pitches, which is like 5-a-side football with a heavier ball. It is often said that it's this game that produces players with traditional Brazilian skills. Coutinho was signed by Italian team, Inter Milan, when he was only 16, and after playing on loan in Brazil for 2 years he made the long journey to Europe. After making 28 appearances for Inter, Coutinho moved on loan to Spanish team Espanyol. After only 6 months in Spain, Liverpool paid around £8.5 million to bring the Brazilian to the Premier League.
"I could have never imagined, when playing on that concrete pitch, that I would be appreciated at a club like Liverpool and be the footballer I am today." Philippe Coutinho.
Can Liverpool build a team around Coutinho?
In the last two seasons, Liverpool have lost the player that they built the team around. Last season that was Steven Gerrard, and the season before, it was Luis Suarez. With Gerrard now in America, can Coutinho be the player that Liverpool look to when they need something special? If Coutinho can produce pieces of magic like he did on the opening day of the season, then the answer is definitely yes. Coutinho, who is now in his third season at Liverpool, won the club's Player of the Year award last season and was also named in the Premier League's team of the season. After making seven new signings in the summer, it will take the likes of Christian Benteke (signed from Villa) and Roberto Firmino time to settle in at Liverpool. For this reason, the manager will be looking to the player that Liverpool fans call 'The Little Magician' to continue performing at his best.
His creativity is incredible and that's why he's called 'The Magician' by all of us in the team." Lucas, Coutinho's Brazilain teammate.
Does Coutinho play for Brazil?
Coutinho was an important member of Brazil's youth teams and helped Brazil win the under-17 South American Championships and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. He made his debut for the Brazilian national team in 2010, when he was only 18, but found it difficult to win a regular place in the team. He was left out of the squad for the World Cup in 2014, but more recently things are looking better for Coutinho. He scored his first goal for Brazil in June 2015 and also won a place in the Copa America squad in Chile. At only 23 years-old, Coutinho has his best years in front of him, which can only be a good thing for Brazil and Liverpool.
Is Coutinho the best Brazilian in the Premier League?
Click on talk and quiz and let us know what you think!
What did you understand?
Did you know......?
- In 2014/15, three of Coutinho's four goals came from outside the box!
- Jose Mourinho signed Coutinho for Inter Milan but he never played for him.
- Coutinho played under Rafa Benitez at Inter and Mauricio Pocchetino (Spurs manager) at Espanol.
- He is married to Aine, who is his childhood sweetheart, and they moved continents together when they were only 17.
- The tattoo on Coutinho's arm is dedicated to Aine, his parents and two brothers.
What do you think?
Will Coutinho be Liverpool's star player this season?
Do you think Liverpool will have a good season?
There are many great Brazilian midfielders in the Premier League at the moment. Who do you think is the best?
Oscar? Willian? Fernandinho? Coutinho?