Birthdate: 12 June 1992
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Other clubs: Vasco da Gama (2009-10), Inter Milan (2010-13), Espanyol (loan 2012)
Bought from: Inter Milan
Signed for LFC: £8.5m, 30.01.2013
International debut: 07.10.2010 vs. Iran
International caps: 25/7 (24/7 at LFC) - 28.03.2017
Liverpool debut: 11.02.2013
Last appearance: 16.04.2017
Debut goal: 17.02.2013
Last goal: 08.04.2017
Contract expiry: 2022 (signed 25.01.2017)
Win ratio: 51.7% W:91 D:44 L:41
Games/goals ratio: 4.63
LFC league games/goals: 133 / 30
Total LFC games/goals: 176 / 38
Player profilePhilippe Coutinho became the fifth player of Brazilian birth to sign for Liverpool Football Club when he finalised a contract described as long-term on the penultimate day of the January 2013 transfer-window. Unlike Daniel Sturridge, whose arrival in the same window had been rumoured for some time, midfielder Coutinho’s signing was more of a surprise as he was still only in the early stages of his professional career with barely a century of first-team matches behind him for three different clubs prior to his arrival in England. Coutinho was born in Brazil’s second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, and joined the youth system of one of that city’s most prominent clubs, Vasco da Gama. His potential was quickly spotted and Italian club Internazionale made a successful bid for him in 2008 when Coutinho was still only 16-years-old. Inter did, however, allow him to remain with Vasco until he had passed his eighteenth birthday in the middle of 2010, at which point he relocated to Europe. The youngster’s arrival in Italy coincided with that of Rafael Benítez, who was appointed to Inter Milan’s head coach. Both Benítez and Inter’s long-standing president, Massimo Moratti, were enthusiastic about Coutinho joining their club but a quotation attributed to them that “Coutinho is the future of Inter” possibly placed unnecessary and unfair pressure on the teenager. Initially anyway, things went reasonably well for the young Brazilian and he made his debut for the European champions as a second-half substitute for Wesley Sneijder during the Super Cup final against Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in Monaco. Inter were in the end comfortably defeated by the Spanish club.
Coutinho only appeared in eleven of Inter’s 38 Serie A matches in 2010/11 as the Nerazzurri finished runners-up to their city rivals AC Milan; and he had only played in a handful of matches by the halfway point of the following season when his career changed direction with a loan move to Espanyol in Spain. The change of scenery worked well for him as he scored five times in 16 La Liga matches in helping the Barcelona club to move clear of the threat of relegation. At the end of a fairly successful loan-spell Coutinho returned to Italy but again had difficulty holding down a regular place in Inter’s first team even though he had represented his country at the South American Under-17 championships in Chile in 2009 before making his first appearance for Brazil’s senior team against Iran the following year.
Coutinho took over the number ten shirt vacated by Joe Cole and Brendan Rodgers was excited at his arrival, saying: "I love players who can make the difference at the top end. I've known about him since he was 15 years of age and watched him come through for Brazil. It was a real coup for us because Inter Milan didn't want to sell him, but when we thought he could become available we did everything we could to get him in. Thankfully he's chosen to come to Liverpool. He's a wonderful talent and a great technician, he's got pace, strength and power. He's flexible - he can play in midfield or off the sides. He's a really exciting player and another great product to come into the league. I'm really looking forward to developing him and seeing him work. I got a good insight into him last year when he was at Espanyol, he's a real talent and a good, young, exciting player - but also a real good professional and that's key as well."
Even though he did not arrive in England until the end of January, Phillippe Coutinho was one of the big successes of the 2012/13 season. The Brazilian settled into English life ... and the Liverpool team ... almost effortlessly, scoring in the first match in which he started (against Swansea in mid-February) and then adding further goals against Southampton and Queens Park Rangers. He was also responsible for creating several other goals, most notably the two he laid on for Stuart Downing and Luis Suarez at Wigan in March, a quite brilliant pass to enable Jordan Henderson to equalise at Villa Park later in the same month, two more assists in the 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle in April and a perfect pass to lay on Daniel Sturridge's hat-trick goal at Fulham in the penultimate match of the season in May.
The tricky Brazilian, appeared in 86% of Liverpool's competitive matches in 2013/14 and scored five goals, the most crucial of which was a late winner against Manchester City at Anfield that kept the club's hopes of finishing first alive. He often did not play the full ninety minutes and could on occasions drift out of games, but most of the time he had a massive impact and his name was sung with gusto by fans. It was surprising to Reds therefore that he was omitted from Brazil's World Cup squad for that summer's tournament which was taking place on home soil.
Coutinho had an excellent season in 2014/15, missing only three Premier League matches and also appearing in seventeen cup-ties. He enhanced his reputation as a scorer of exceptional goals with his strikes against Southampton and Manchester City in the League and against Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa in the Cup. In January he signed a new five year contract and when it became apparent that Liverpool would not qualify for the Champions League, he brushed off any questions over the possibility of him leaving. He was deservedly a multi-prize winner at the club's end-of-season awards evening and his club form was rewarded with a call up to the national squad for the Copa America.
In 2015/16 Coutinho was outstanding, scoring twelve goals in all competitions. They included a stunning strike from outside the box at Stoke City in the opening game, the equaliser in the League Cup final and a brilliant solo goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last sixteen of the Champions League. He won four end of season awards and was called up by Brazil or the Copa America which was held in the USA. Coutinho was either said to be heading to Barcelona or Paris St Germain in the summer of 2017, but committed himself to Liverpool by signing a new five-year contract in January, making him reportedly the highest earner at the club.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|7||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||West Ham United|
Declan Sloan has put together a complete record of every South American player to wear the famous Red Jersey, from Mauricio Pellegrino in 2005 to newly recruited Roberto Firmino. More
Paul Wilson in The Observer on 15 February 2014.More
By Tony Barrett for the Times on 10 February 2014. More
I love Coutinho. He is outstanding and has unbelievable ability. He’s better than I ever was and I really mean that. He’s miles better than me. If he stays here for a long time he’s got a chance of being as big as Kenny – that kind of stature. I look at his ability and I think he could be the new Kenny Dalglish. He is a very special player. He has such a great understanding of the game. Good players like that know when to get rid of the ball. On the odd occasion he gets caught but not often. He’s very clever – he’s always aware of where his team-mates are and how they want the ball. Some of his passing takes your breath away and he has a great attitude as well. It was a smart signing by Brendan. I don’t think anyone saw it coming and he was a real bargain.
Peter Beardsley on Coutinho in August 2013
"He was just 18 when he arrived at the club from Vasco. Then came Beniíez and the expectations were very high. Rafa used him on the flanks in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He was not playing much and we lacked patience so we decided to sell him. I would like young players to grow and succeed here; when I seen them play for other clubs, it makes me sad."
Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio on Philippe Coutinho on Sky Italia in April 2015
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Vasco da Gama||2009||Brasileirão||12||0||12||0|
|Vasco da Gama||2010||Brasileirão||7||1||31||5|
|Inter Milan||2010-2011||Serie A Italy||13||1||20||1|
|Inter Milan||2011-2012||Serie A Italy||5||1||8||1|
|Espanyol||2011-2012||La Liga, Spain||16||5||16||5|
|Inter Milan||2012-2013||Serie A Italy||10||1||19||3|