These are the stories Liverpool fans live to read about. The incredible story of how a young Brazilian boy by the name of Philippe Coutinho started his career.
Coutinho’s former youth coach at Vasco da Gama, Rodney Goncalves, has followed up the 24-year-old’s stunning goal against Argentina during the week by reflecting on the immediate impact he made as a young child.
He told the Telegraph: “He always played futsal when he was young, and the scouts of Vasco da Gama brought the information about this young player who was giving great performances during the school tournaments. That was when he was signed and I had the pleasure to coach him in under-17 team.”
“Normally players need time to adapt and understand the new targets, but once he joined us it was immediate. The first game I remember we were leading 2-0 coming towards the end and I decided to send him on. It was a hard game, but some supporters who’d seen him for the younger sides were already singing his name ‘Coutinho, Coutinho’.”
“There were 10 minutes to play and when I looked at him I could see how much he wanted to go on. He scored two and made an assist, turning a difficult game into an easy 5-0 win. He had a different way of understanding the game and deciding it with his actions.”
What a star he has become.
The ability as a child to have a lasting impression on the game is something that lives on with him today. He has evolved into a young man capable of dictating any game he plays in.
He is two or three steps ahead of most players on the pitch and we are grateful of the chance to have someone with that quality at this club.
There is something raw and humble to the way in which he dominates games. He has grown into a player with the maturity and the attributes that allows him to take responsibility and win games on his own.
He is an absolute joy to watch and we hope to see him in a Liverpool shirt for years to come.