Philippe Coutinho Correia (Brazilian Portuguese: [fiˈlipi kowˈtʃĩj̃u]; born 12 June 1992) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and the Brazil 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 side Internazionale in 2008 for €4 million and subsequently loaned back to Vasco, where he became a key player. He made his debut for Internazionale in 2010 and was seen as the "future of Inter", but struggled to establish himself in the first team and was loaned to Spanish club Espanyol in 2012.
In January 2013, he was signed by English team Liverpool for £8.5 million. He flourished at Anfield; his combination of vision, passing, dribbling and long-range strikes earned him the nickname Little Magician from Liverpool fans and teammates. After he was named in the 2015 PFA Team of the Year, Brazilian legend Pelé tipped Coutinho for a "great future".
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. 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.
Coutinho flourished in Vasco da Gama's youth system, and was soon called up to the Brazil under-15 football team. In July 2008, at the age of 16 he was bought by Italian giants Internazionale for €4 million. Coutinho stayed at Vasco on loan for two years, becoming a first team player despite his young age. 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.
Coutinho's move to Internazionale 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".
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.
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.
During the 2011–12 Internazionale season, Coutinho struggled to establish himself in the first team and on 30 January 2012, he joined Espanyol on loan until the end of the season. On 4 February 2012, Coutinho made his first appearance for Espanyol in a 3–3 draw with Athletic Club. He scored his first goal for the Catalan side on 11 March in a 5–1 victory against Rayo Vallecano in the 9th minute of the game. He scored his second goal in the 21st minute of the same game. He continued his fine form as he scored a sublime volley against Racing Santander and a well placed free kick against Málaga. On 18 May 2012, Coutinho made his return to Inter.
On 26 January 2013, Liverpool agreed an £8.5 million fee with Internazionale for Coutinho, pending a medical exam and a work permit from the Home Office. 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. 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.
Coutinho made his Liverpool debut on 11 February 2013, replacing Stewart Downing in the 78th minute of a 2–0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. On 17 February he scored his first goal for Liverpool on his full debut in a 5–0 victory over Swansea City.
On 2 March, he set up Liverpool's first and second goals of the game in a 4–0 win against Wigan Athletic. Coutinho scored his second goal for Liverpool in a 3–1 away loss to Southampton. On 31 March, he set up Liverpool's first goal in a 2–1 away win against Aston Villa. On 27 April, he won the Man of the Match award in Liverpool's 6–0 away victory of Newcastle United, claiming two assists, and winning the free-kick from which Jordan Henderson added Liverpool's sixth. Coutinho won Player of the Month for Liverpool in March.
On 12 May he assisted Daniel Sturridge for his second and third goals in a 1–3 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Coutinho scored Liverpool's final goal of the season against Queens Park Rangers in Jamie Carragher's final match for the club. Jordon Ibe began a twisting run before setting the ball off to the Brazilian, who executed a fine driven shot into the net from 30 yards out.
Coutinho began the 2013–14 season well before injuring his shoulder in a match against Swansea City on 16 September 2013. 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 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.
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.
On 17 August 2014, Coutinho started in Liverpool's first game of the 2014–15 season, a 2–1 win against Southampton at Anfield. 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.
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. On 21 December, Coutinho scored Liverpool's first goal in a 2–2 draw against Arsenal at Anfield.
On 3 February 2015, Coutinho signed a new long-term deal, keeping him with the club until 2020. 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.
On 22 February, he scored the opening goal in Liverpool's 2–0 victory over Southampton. In the next game against Manchester City on 1 March, Coutinho scored the winning goal for Liverpool. He won the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for February.
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. 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. On 26 April, Coutinho was the only Liverpool player named in the PFA Team of the Year. 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. Seventeen days later, he was named the team's Player of the Season. 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.
On 9 August 2015, Coutinho scored the winning goal in the 86th minute with a 25-yard strike in Liverpool's first match of the season, a 1–0 victory away to Stoke City. 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. 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.
On 26 September, he assisted 2 goals in a 3–2 win over Aston Villa at Anfield. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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. On 14 April, he scored as Liverpool defeated Borussia Dortmund 4–3 in the second leg of their semi-final.
On 14 August 2016, Coutinho scored twice in Liverpool's season opener in a 4–3 win against Arsenal. His first goal was a 30-yard free kick to equalize at the end of the first half. 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.
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.
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. 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. Coutinho became the all-time leading Brazilian goal scorer in Premier League history, after scoring his 30th PL goal in a win vs Stoke.
In August, Liverpool rejected a £72m bid from Barcelona for Coutinho, prompting the player to submit a transfer request via email. However, two more improved bids from Barcelona were rejected, leading director Albert Soler to claim that Liverpool wanted £183m which they deny.
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.
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, and played the final 25 minutes of the match against Ecuador.
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. Brazil did not advance past the group stage after losing 0–1 to Peru.
On 28 March 2017, Coutinho scored in a 3–0 win against Paraguay that ensured Brazil's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.
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.
Due to his dribbling ability, pace, and agility, 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". Former Brazilian striker Careca has also compared him to Zico, due to his creativity, and he has been highly praised by his Liverpool teammates.
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. Although naturally right footed, Coutinho is capable of playing with both feet, and can strike the ball well from distance.
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. 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. Coutinho is a devout Christian.
|Club||Season||League||Cup[nb 1]||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Vasco da Gama (loan)||2009||Série B||12||0||0||0||—||0||0||0||0||12||0|
|Espanyol (loan)||2011–12||La Liga||16||5||0||0||0||0||—||16||5|
|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|
|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|
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