There will be some special feelings brewing in the belly of Philippe Coutinho right about now. He’s gonna be a captain. Brazilian national team manager, Tite, is expected to deliver the armband to Coutinho for at least one of the two friendly matches Brazil will play in Melbourne, Australia in June.
Coutinho has been steadily improving every season he’s been at Liverpool. He’s gone from being another good guy to being the guy we can’t believe is our guy. And he’s only 24-years-old. He scored more goals this passed season than the previous two while playing fewer games and being out injured for a lengthy stretch. He also has a mythical white mane and explosions of magic dust instead of tail.
After missing out on Brazil’s 2014 World Cup shenanigans, Coutinho was called up to the squad by the newly-hired Tite. And the little magician has been using his steady rise at Liverpool to develop and impress for the seleção over the last couple of years. He’s a goalscorer for them now. A difference-maker. And he’s damn versatile going forward, playing across the front end and bringing the ball from deeper.
Neymar was left out of the Australia trip, much to the irritation of those who had purchased tickets with the promise of seeing the Barcelona superstar down under. So, the captaincy for the tour will be shared. One for the friendly against Argentina and one for Australia.
But even if some of Brazil’s finest were left out of the traveling squad—including Roberto Firmino—it’s certainly something for Coutinho to lead his national team onto the field. He’s come a long way and he’s earned it. He works hard. He keeps his head down. He keeps his nose clean. Is that a drug reference? I’m leaving it in. And greater recognition and global respect for Liverpool’s number ten is good news for Liverpool. Confidence is all.