Brendan Rodgers Says Philippe Coutinho Plays With Joy of ‘Street Kid,’ Delivers Man’s Performances


Philippe Coutinho and Iago AspasBrendan Rodgers is so determined to see Philippe Coutinho express his talent at the FIFA World Cup next summer that the Liverpool boss is regularly reporting about the No. 10’s talent to the Brazil manager.

The playmaker has consistently delighted and surprised Kopites with his outstanding passing and creativity since joining the Reds from Inter Milan in January of this year.

Despite his form, however, the 21-year-old has yet to force his way into his country’s national squad — with his record showing just a single cap, in a friendly against Iran more than three years ago.

Current Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari certainly knows about Coutinho’s ability, though, as Rodgers has been alerting the World Cup-winning coach to the midfielder’s performances.

“Philippe is such a talent now, he is an ­absolute joy to watch, and I have been on to Scolari constantly about him because I know Luiz from my Chelsea days,” said the Northern Irishman. “Brazil have such an array of talent in Neymar, Oscar and Bernard, but Scolari knows all about Coutinho because I have been on about him and Lucas.

“Lucas has got into the team, which is great. Obviously it is more difficult in Philippe as there is a lot of competition in his ­position. But he really is at that level and he just has to keep playing and pushing his case.

“Felipe has asked me to keep an eye on the Brazil boys and give any feedback — even ones from other clubs — but I’m only concerned about ours here and, for me, Philippe is brilliant.”

Coutinho impressed with a typically instrumental display in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over West Ham United on Saturday, drawing a unique comparison from Rodgers.

“I saw some videos of him playing from when he was 12 or 13, and it was amazing,” the manager added. “He was playing futsal and there was no difference to how he is now. He plays like a street kid with the joy and excitement of a boy, but his performances are like a man.”

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