Coutinho’s former youth coach at Vasco de Gama Rodney Goncalves has given a lengthy interview to Chris Bascombe in the Telegraph.
Our Brazilian, widely recognised as Liverpool’s best player and perhaps the best in the entire Premier League on current form, has a close relationship with the coach and they still speak regularly.
Goncalves recognised his talent when the playmaker was a young teenager tearing up futsal tournaments and facilitated his path into the first-team.
Thankfully for us Reds, Goncalves has announced that whenever he converses with the 24-year-old, Coutinho reiterates his desire to stay on Merseyside and win the biggest trophies with Liverpool.
“Whenever we speak he always says that is very happy at Liverpool and his biggest challenge is to win the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool,” says Goncalves.
“He knows that if he continues to give great performances for Liverpool, he will always be selected for Brazil.”
Fantastic news. If Coutinho is happy, we don’t have much to worry about because he’s contracted until 2020, has no release-clause and we’re under no financial obligation to sell.
Looks like he’s for the foreseeable future, we hope!
Goncalves also discussed Coutinho’s personal ambition and how he’s on the verge of becoming an icon in his homeland in the same manner Neymar is.
“His ambition is to be in the list of the top 10 players [in the world],” he continued.
“The Brazil squad needed to renew itself after the World Cup and everybody expected that he would be selected. Now he is, and this moment is very special. With Neymar and Coutinho playing together again, they are seen as the couple that can give us a lot of titles. They played together in the Brazilian youth teams and were the players who stood out when they played against each other in the youth sides for Vasco da Gama versus Santos.
“Coutinho can be compared to Neymar, but Coutinho is Coutinho. He can become a very popular in Brazil and around the world like Neymar, he just needs to get a sequence of games in the Brazilian squad.
“There is pressure on him but it is not a problem. He plays at a big club and plays in the most important league in the world.”
Normally when Brazilians discuss Coutinho they just spout the same stuff about how he needs to sign for Barcelona or Real Madrid, so we’re delighted Goncalves is using his head and analysing the situation properly.
He’s welcome at Anfield any time!