Could things be going much better for the maestro this season?
Ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final with Aston Villa, Philippe Coutinho has been reflecting on an incredible few weeks.
The 22-year-old has been our player of the season, and so it was therefore no surprise that he was called up for, and subsequently started Brazil’s friendly victory over Chile at the Emirates last month to collect his sixth cap for the national side.
However, the trip was more significant for the playmaker, as he and Lucas got to meet one of the world’s greatest ever players Pele. The Liverpool Echo report that Coutinho revealed that it was a humbling experience to meet the three-time World Cup winner.
“I have never met him before, it was a great honour for me. I was a little bit nervous meeting him before the match. It is the ultimate honour because Pele is the greatest player of Brazil and probably the world. Meeting a person like that sends a shiver down your spine,” he said.
That wonderful form that brought him to the attention of Pele, continued once he returned to Merseyside. He scored the winning goal in the FA Cup quarter-final replay with Blackburn, and – despite not scoring – put in a man of the match display against Newcastle, which brought us truly back into contention for a top four spot.
Despite the exciting performances that have seen him shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, Coutinho is determined to continue to improve further, starting with Sunday’s clash.
“I have scored some goals but I want to get better because I need to get better. Scoring goals is one of the things that I need to do better because a player in my position must do that,” he explained.
The maestro admitted that it will be an awe-inspiring moment when he walks out at the home of football for the first time, citing it as one of the stadiums that he has always wanted to play at.
“I’m quite anxious to play at Wembley because it’s a ground with wonderful history and I have never played there. This will be my first time and I will be really honoured to play at a stadium with such fantastic history.
“It would be very important for me to win the cup here, not only for me, but for the club as a whole. That would be a massive achievement,” he added.