Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho Correia (Brazilian Portuguese: [fiˈlipi kowˈtʃĩɲu]; born 12 June 1992) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Spanish club Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Coutinho showed prodigious talent and excelled in Vasco da Gama's youth system. He was signed by Italian club Inter Milan in 2008 for €4 million and subsequently loaned back to Vasco, where he became a key player. He made his debut for Inter Milan in 2010 and was seen as the "future of Inter", and was later loaned to La Liga club Espanyol in 2012.

In January 2013, he was signed by Premier League club Liverpool for £8.5 million. He flourished at Anfield; his combination of vision, passing, dribbling and bending long-range strikes earned him the nickname The Magician from Liverpool fans and teammates.[4] After he was named in the 2015 PFA Team of the Year, Brazilian legend Pelé tipped Coutinho for a "great future".[5][6] In January 2018, Coutinho transferred to Barcelona in a record transaction fee reportedly worth €142 million ($170 million), which would make him the world's third most expensive player.[7]

Coutinho made his full international debut in 2010, and has earned over 30 caps for Brazil. He was part of the Brazilian squad at the 2015 Copa América, the Copa América Centenario in 2016, and made his World Cup debut at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Philippe Coutinho
20180610 FIFA Friendly Match Austria vs. Brazil Philippe Coutinho 850 1692
Coutinho with Brazil in 2018
Personal information
Full name Philippe Coutinho Correia[1]
Date of birth 12 June 1992 (age 26)[2]
Place of birth Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[3]
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Winger
Club information
Current team
Barcelona
Number 14
Youth career
1999–2008 Vasco da Gama
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2013 Inter Milan 28 (3)
2008–2010Vasco da Gama (loan) 19 (1)
2012Espanyol (loan) 16 (5)
2013–2018 Liverpool 152 (41)
2018– Barcelona 18 (8)
National team
2009 Brazil U17 5 (3)
2011–2012 Brazil U20 7 (3)
2010– Brazil 41 (12)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:39, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:06, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Early life

The third and youngest son of Esmerelda Coutinho and architect José Carlos Correia, Coutinho was born on 12 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, weighing 3.1 kg (6 lbs 10 oz) as a newborn.[8] He was raised in Rio's northern Rocha district between an old shanty town and industrial warehouses.

As a child, he followed his elder brothers Cristiano and Leandro to a local concrete football pitch, where he first began playing futsal. With space restricted and the need for skill and improvisation heightened, the diminutive Coutinho thrived. After joining a local football academy on the insistence of his friends grandmother, his father was later approached at a tournament by youth coaches at Vasco da Gama, where he attended a trial and joined their youth system.[9]

Club career

Vasco da Gama

Coutinho flourished in Vasco da Gama's youth system, and was soon called up to the Brazil under-15 football team.[9] In July 2008, at the age of 16 he was bought by Italian giants Internazionale for €4 million.[10] Coutinho remained at Vasco on loan for two years as foreigner footballers were prohibited from playing professional football in Italy until they are the age of 18, and became a regular first team player despite his young age.[11][12] In 2009, he helped Vasco win the Série B title and achieve promotion. In 2010, he made 31 appearances and scored 5 goals in all competitions as he established himself as a key first team player.[9]

Inter Milan

Philippe Coutinho Inter (cropped)
Coutinho with Inter Milan in October 2011

Coutinho's move to Inter Milan became effective in July 2010, after he turned 18, with new head coach Rafael Benítez and chairman Massimo Moratti being quoted saying that "Coutinho is the future of Inter".[13]

On 27 August 2010, he made his official debut for Inter coming on as a substitute during the Nerazzurri's 2–0 defeat to Atlético Madrid in the 2010 UEFA Super Cup. After dropping out of selection in the starting line up, he returned to play in the crucial 3–2 win over Bayern Munich in Germany; a game which Inter would go on to win and progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.[14]

On 8 May 2011, he scored his first goal for Inter from a free-kick that curled over the wall and into the net in a game that Inter won 3–1 at home against Fiorentina. His second goal for Inter came in a match against Cagliari on 19 November 2011 where Coutinho picked up a through ball from his teammate Ricky Álvarez and dispatched it into the bottom left corner of the net to give Inter a 2–0 lead.

Loan to Espanyol

During the 2011–12 season, Coutinho struggled to establish himself in Inter's first team and on 30 January 2012, he joined La Liga club Espanyol on loan until the end of the season.[15] He made his debut for the club on 4 February 2012 under manager Mauricio Pochettino, starting in a 3–3 draw with Athletic Club. The following month he scored his first goals for the Catalan side when he netted a brace in a 5–1 victory against Rayo Vallecano.[15] He ultimately scored 5 goals in 16 appearances during his loan with Espanyol before returning to Inter at the end of the season.[15]

Liverpool

On 26 January 2013, Premier League club Liverpool agreed an £8.5 million fee with Inter Milan for Coutinho, pending a medical exam and a work permit from the Home Office.[16] Southampton had also expressed an interest in Coutinho, who had played under Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino at Espanyol, but Coutinho said he would prefer to join Liverpool.[17] On 30 January, Liverpool confirmed the signing of Coutinho on a long-term contract after he was successful in his work permit application, and was given the number 10 shirt.[18][19] Former director of football at Liverpool, Damien Comolli, later revealed that the club had scouted and ultimately signed Coutinho following a recommendation by then-Inter Milan manager and former Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez who described the Brazilian as "world class".[20]

2012–13

Coutinho v Swansea (cropped)
Coutinho celebrating his first Liverpool goal in a win against Swansea on 17 February 2013.

Coutinho made his Liverpool debut on 11 February 2013, replacing Stewart Downing in the 77th minute of a 2–0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.[21] On 17 February he scored his first goal for Liverpool on his full debut in a 5–0 victory over Swansea City.[22] On 2 March, he set up Liverpool's first and second goals in a 4–0 win over Wigan Athletic and followed on with a goal in a 3–1 away loss to Southampton and another assists in a 2–1 away win against Aston Villa. His form during the month saw him named as Liverpool's Player of the Month for March.[23]

Towards the end of the following month, he won the Man of the Match award for his performance in Liverpool's 6–0 away victory over Newcastle United, claiming two assists and winning the free-kick from which Jordan Henderson scored Liverpool's sixth.[24] Coutinho then scored Liverpool's final goal of the season against Queens Park Rangers in Jamie Carragher's final match for the club, executing a driven shot from 30 yards out after being played in by Jordon Ibe.[25] He ended his debut season with Liverpool with a return of three goals in thirteen Premier League appearances.

2013–14

Marc Wilson and Coutinho (cropped)
Coutinho being challenged by Stoke City's Marc Wilson in August 2013

Coutinho began the 2013–14 season well before injuring his shoulder in a match against Swansea City on 16 September 2013.[26] He was restored to the starting line-up for the 4–0 victory over Fulham at Anfield on 9 November. On 23 November, Coutinho scored the opening goal of the Merseyside derby in the 5th minute. Coutinho created his first assist of the season with a corner in the 5–1 thrashing of Norwich City at Anfield. On 26 December, he scored the Reds' only goal in a 2–1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. On 30 March, Coutinho scored the third goal in a 4–0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.

On 13 April 2014, Coutinho scored the winning goal in the 78th minute in a 3–2 win against Manchester City. The result put Liverpool seven points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table with four matches remaining. Manchester City, however, had six matches remaining and went on to win the title, with Liverpool finishing second.[27]

During the season, Coutinho mainly played in central midfield and earned praise from many pundits due to his long and accurate passing from midfield, dribbling skills, and creative play to set up strikers Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge.[27]

2014–15

Philippe Coutinho 2014
Coutinho before a pre-season friendly against Roma, 23 July 2014

On 17 August 2014, Coutinho started in Liverpool's first game of the 2014–15 season, a 2–1 win against Southampton at Anfield.[28] He created his first assist of the season in a 2–1 win against Swansea City in the fourth round of the Football League Cup, where he supplied the ball for Dejan Lovren to head the winning goal.[29]

Coutinho scored his first goal of the season in a 3–2 away win against Queens Park Rangers on 19 October after coming off the bench.[30] On 21 December, Coutinho scored Liverpool's first goal in a 2–2 draw against Arsenal at Anfield.[31]

On 31 January 2015, he assisted both goals for Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge in a 2–0 win over West Ham.[32] On 3 February 2015, Coutinho signed a new long-term deal, keeping him with the club until 2020.[33] On 4 February, just a day after extending his contract, he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 FA Cup fourth round match against Bolton Wanderers.[34] On 22 February, he scored the opening goal in Liverpool's 2–0 victory over Southampton.[35] In the next game against Manchester City on 1 March, Coutinho scored the winning goal for Liverpool.[36][37] He won the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for February.[38]

On 8 April, Coutinho scored the winning goal in the 1–0 FA Cup sixth round replay win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park after slotting it into the bottom left corner.[39] Eleven days later, he scored past Shay Given in the FA Cup semi-final versus Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium, but Villa won 2–1.[40] On 26 April, Coutinho was the only Liverpool player named in the PFA Team of the Year.[5] On 2 May, Coutinho scored the opening goal, and provided the assist in the 87th minute for Steven Gerrard's winner, in a 2–1 win over Queens Park Rangers.[41] Seventeen days later, he was named the team's Player of the Season.[42][43][44] At the end of the season, he was shortlisted for the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the PFA Young Player of the Year, before losing out to Eden Hazard and Harry Kane respectively.[45][46][47]

2015–16

On 9 August 2015, Coutinho scored the winning goal in the 86th minute with a bending 25-yard strike in Liverpool's first match of the season, a 1–0 victory away to Stoke City.[48][49] One week later when Liverpool won at home against Bournemouth due to Christian Benteke's goal; the Premier League later confirmed that the goal should not have counted as Coutinho was offside when it was scored.[50][51] On 29 August, Coutinho was sent off in a 0–3 home defeat to West Ham United, being booked the first time for dissent and the second for a foul on Dimitri Payet.[52] On 26 September, he assisted 2 goals in a 3–2 win over Aston Villa at Anfield.[53] On 31 October, he scored his first Liverpool brace, with two long range strikes to overturn a deficit and seal a 3–1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.[54] On 21 November, Coutinho scored in a 4–1 victory over Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium; the first time he had scored in three consecutive Premier League matches. He also assisted Roberto Firmino's first goal for Liverpool.[55]

On 5 January 2016, he suffered a hamstring injury in a 1–0 win over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals, that ruled him out for five weeks. On 9 February, he returned to score a goal to make it 1–1 against West Ham United in the FA Cup, however Liverpool went on to lose in extra-time.[56] On 28 February, in the 2016 League Cup Final, Coutinho scored an 83rd-minute equalizer in a 1–1 draw against Manchester City. However, in the subsequent penalty shootout, his "hesitant" attempt was one of three saved by victorious goalkeeper Willy Caballero.[57] On 17 March, Coutinho scored Liverpool's goal in a 1–1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, helping the team to a 3–1 aggregate victory that saw them qualify for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.[58] On 14 April, he scored as Liverpool defeated Borussia Dortmund 4–3 in the second leg of their quarter-final.[59] On 13 April, Coutinho was one of six players nominated for the 2016 PFA Young Player of the Year award.[60] On 21 April, he scored the final goal of a 4–0 Merseyside Derby win over Everton.[61]

2016–17

Coutinho (34018689393)
Coutinho on the last day of the 2016–17 season. He scored the second goal with a 25-yard free kick in a 3–0 win to ensure Champions League qualification.

On 14 August 2016, Coutinho scored twice in Liverpool's season opener in a 4–3 win against Arsenal.[62] His first goal was a curling 30-yard free kick to equalize at the end of the first half.[63] He assisted Dejan Lovren's opener against Chelsea in an eventual 2–1 win. He also scored a goal and provided an assist against Hull City, and was voted man of the match. After this match, he didn't register any goals or assists for two games, but he was very impressive with his performances against Manchester United and Swansea City. He was voted man of the match for three successive matches for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and Watford. After eleven league games, Liverpool reached the top of the table for the first time since May 2014, with Coutinho having played an important role.[64]

On 26 November, Coutinho suffered ankle ligament damage in the first half of a 2–0 win against Sunderland, which ruled him out of action until 11 January against Southampton in the EFL Cup first leg.[65]

In January, Coutinho signed a new five-year contract with no release clause with Liverpool which would keep him at the club up to 2022.[66] He then went on to earn the 'Man of the Match' award for his performance in the 3–1 Merseyside victory, by scoring and assisting a goal.[67] Coutinho became the all-time leading Brazilian goal scorer in Premier League history, after scoring his 30th PL goal in a win vs Stoke.[68]

2017–18

In August, Liverpool rejected a £72 million bid from Barcelona for Coutinho,[69] prompting the player to submit a transfer request via email.[70] However, two more improved bids from Barcelona were rejected,[71] leading director Albert Soler to claim that Liverpool wanted £183 million which Liverpool denied.[69] Coutinho made his first appearance of the season for Liverpool on 13 September 2017, coming on as a substitute for Emre Can in the 75th minute of a 2–2 draw against Sevilla in the Champions League.[72] He scored his first league goal of the season on 23 September 2017, in a 3–2 victory at Leicester City.[73]

Spartak Moscow VS. Liverpool (12)
Coutinho (middle) playing against Spartak Moscow in Russia in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, September 2017

On 6 December, Coutinho captained Liverpool for the first time in the absence of Jordan Henderson and scored his first hat-trick for the club in a 7–0 win against Spartak Moscow in the final group game of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League.[74] His second, a tap-in from Roberto Firmino's pass, was his 50th career goal for the Reds in all competitions.[75] Coutinho had previously also netted in Liverpool's 7–0 victory over NK Maribor which was the club's joint-largest ever away win in the competition, and largest away win by an English club.[76] Later that month, he opened the scoring in a 4–0 win over Bournemouth; a result which saw Liverpool become the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive league matches by a margin of at least three goals.[77] On 26 December, he captained Liverpool in his 200th appearance for the club, scoring once and providing an assist in a 5–0 league win over Swansea to score his third goal in as many league games.[78]

Coutinho played what transpired to be his final game for Liverpool on 30 December 2017, featuring prominently in a 2–1 league win against Leicester City at Anfield.[79] He was left out of the Liverpool squad to face Burnley on New Year's Day with a minor thigh injury.[80] He left Liverpool having scored 12 goals and registered nine assists in 20 appearances for the club in 2017–18.[81][82]

Barcelona

On 6 January 2018, Liverpool confirmed that they had reached an agreement with La Liga club Barcelona for the transfer of Coutinho.[83][84] His transfer fee is reported to be an initial £105 million, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses being met.[85][86][81] During his medical, he was diagnosed with a thigh injury sustained a few days before joining Barcelona, ruling him out for three weeks.[87] He made his debut for Barcelona on 25 January 2018, in a 2–0 (agg. 2–1) win against his former club RCD Espanyol in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, coming on as a 68th minute substitute for captain Andrés Iniesta.[88] Assisted by his former Liverpool teammate Luis Suárez, Coutinho scored his first Barcelona goal on 8 February 2018 against Valencia CF in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals just four minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.[89]

International career

Coutinho Sanchez Brazil vs Chile
Coutinho (center) playing for Brazil battles Alexis Sánchez of Chile in 2015.

Having made youth appearances for Brazil from the under-14 team upwards, Coutinho became a key player in the Brazilian squad that won the 2009 South American Under-17 Football Championship, scoring three goals.[9]

Coutinho made his first senior appearance in a Brazil shirt on 7 October 2010, starting in a friendly match against Iran.[90] He was left out of the final squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil by Luiz Felipe Scolari.[91]

Coutinho 2018
Coutinho wears number 11 for the national team

On 19 August 2014, Coutinho was called up to the national squad by the new coach Dunga for the friendly matches against Colombia and Ecuador in September,[92] and played the final 25 minutes of the match against Ecuador.[93][94] On 29 March 2015, he was selected to start in Brazil's 1–0 friendly victory over Chile in London.[95]

On 5 May 2015, Coutinho was included in the squad for the 2015 Copa América,[96] and he scored his first international goal on 7 June, during a 2–0 friendly win over Mexico at Allianz Parque.[97] Coutinho was included in Brazil's squad for the Copa América Centenario in the United States. On 8 June, in the second group game at the Citrus Bowl, he scored a hat-trick in a 7–1 win against Haiti.[98] Brazil did not advance past the group stage after losing 0–1 to Peru.[99] On 28 March 2017, Coutinho scored in a 3–0 win against Paraguay that ensured Brazil's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.[100]

In May 2018, Coutinho was named in the squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[101] On 17 June 2018, he scored the opening goal with a trademark right footed curling shot from outside the penalty area into the corner of the goal in Brazil's 1–1 draw with Switzerland in their opening match at the World Cup.[102] In the following match against Costa Rica on 22 June, he scored the opening goal in injury time of the second half and was named Man of the match as Brazil won 2–0.[103] On 6 July, he assisted Renato Augusto's goal in a 1–2 quarter-final defeat to Belgium as Brazil were eliminated from the World Cup.[104]

Style of play

Phillipe Coutinho 2013-08-27
Coutinho playing for Liverpool, 2013

Considered to be an archetypal Brazilian number 10 playmaker, Coutinho has been used as an attacking midfielder, second striker and on the flanks, where he excels at providing assists for teammates.[105] He has a penchant for scoring from curling shots with his right foot from just outside the penalty area into the top corner of the goal.[106]

Due to his dribbling ability, pace, and agility,[107][108] he has been compared to Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho by his former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino who also said "Philippe... he has a special magic in his feet".[109] Former Brazilian striker Careca has also compared him to Zico, due to his creativity,[108] and he has been highly praised by his Liverpool teammates.[110][111]

His vision and passing ability have earned him the nickname Little Magician by Liverpool fans and his precocious ability has also led his team's supporters to give him the nickname The Kid.[107] Although naturally right-footed, Coutinho is capable of playing with both feet,[110][112] and can strike the ball well from distance.[113]

Personal life

When Coutinho moved to Italy at the age of 18 to join Internazionale, he was joined there by his parents and then girlfriend Aine, whom he had first met at a friend's party. On moving to Espanyol, his parents returned to Brazil. He married Aine in the summer of 2012 in Brazil.[9] Coutinho has said his idol is Ronaldinho. He has tattoos stretching from his fingers to his biceps which form tributes to his parents, two brothers, and his wife Aine.[9] Coutinho is a devout Christian.[114]

During the early-morning hours of 20 February 2018, Coutinho had been eating dinner with his family the previous night and returned to his Barcelona home to find his house burgled. It was reported that he was having construction work done on his house, which made it easier for burglars to break in.[115]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 20 May 2018[116]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Vasco da Gama (loan) 2009 Série B 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 0
2010 7 1 7 1 0 0 17[a] 3 31 5
Total 19 1 7 1 0 0 17 3 43 5
Inter Milan 2010–11 Serie A 13 1 0 0 6[b] 0 1[c] 0 20 1
2011–12 5 1 0 0 3[b] 0 8 1
2012–13 10 1 0 0 9[d] 2 19 3
Total 28 3 0 0 18 2 1 0 47 5
Espanyol (loan) 2011–12 La Liga 16 5 0 0 16 5
Liverpool 2012–13 Premier League 13 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 3
2013–14 33 5 3 0 1 0 37 5
2014–15 35 5 7 3 4 0 6[e] 0 52 8
2015–16 26 8 1 1 3 1 13[d] 2 43 12
2016–17 31 13 2 0 3 1 36 14
2017–18 14 7 0 0 1 0 5[b] 5 20 12
Total 152 41 13 4 12 2 24 7 201 54
Barcelona 2017–18 La Liga 18 8 4 2 22 10
Career total 233 58 24 7 12 2 42 9 18 3 329 79
  1. ^ Includes cup competitions such as Copa do Brasil, Coppa Italia, Copa del Rey and FA Cup
  1. ^ All appearances in Campeonato Carioca
  2. ^ a b c All appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup
  4. ^ a b All appearances in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in Europa League

International

As of match played 6 July 2018[117]
National team Year Apps Goals
Brazil 2010 2 0
2014 4 0
2015 7 1
2016 10 5
2017 9 2
2018 9 4
Total 41 12

International goals

Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first:[118]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 June 2015 Allianz Parque, São Paulo, Brazil  Mexico 1–0 2–0 Friendly
2. 8 June 2016 Camping World Stadium, Orlando, United States  Haiti 1–0 7–1 Copa América Centenario
3. 2–0
4. 7–1
5. 6 October 2016 Arena das Dunas, Natal, Brazil  Bolivia 2–0 5–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 10 November 2016 Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, Brazil  Argentina 1–0 3–0
7. 27 March 2017 Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, Brazil  Paraguay 1–0 3–0
8. 31 August 2017 Arena do Grêmio, Porto Alegre, Brazil  Ecuador 2–0 2–0
9. 23 March 2018 Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia  Russia 2–0 3–0 Friendly
10. 10 June 2018 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 3–0 3–0
11. 17 June 2018 Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don, Russia   Switzerland 1–0 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup
12. 22 June 2018 Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia  Costa Rica 1–0 2–0

Honours

Vasco da Gama

Internazionale[119]

Liverpool

Barcelona[121]

Brazil Youth

Individual

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