WATCH: Coutinho scores brilliant hat-trick for Brazil

The Liverpool midfielder shined for the South American giants against Haiti in the Copa America Centenario and you can watch every goal in the above highlights video


Philippe Coutinho lit up Brazil’s Copa America Centenario clash with Haiti on Thursday, scoring a superb hat-trick in their thumping 7-1 victory and you can watch all of his goals above!

The Liverpool midfielder scored two stunning long-range drives against the minnows, and also turned home Jonas’s precise cut-back as Brazil ran riot.

Renato Augusto netted a brace in the victory, with Gabriel Barbosa and Lucas Lima also on the scoresheet.

Watch Coutinho’s goals above!

Coutinho denies knowledge of Paris Saint-Germain offer

The Brazil playmaker scored a hat trick for his country Wednesday and said afterwards that, as far as he knows, there has been no transfer bid.

Philippe Coutinho insists he knows nothing about a rumored 23 million pound ($33.3 million) bid from Paris Saint-Germain for his services.

The Liverpool playmaker scored a hat trick as Brazil thrashed Haiti 7-1 in the Copa America Centenario on Wednesday, the same day it was rumored that the Ligue 1 champion has rivaled Barcelona in the race to seal his signature.

Reports indicate that PSG has made the first move by submitting a formal offer to Liverpool, but the player himself says he has not been informed of any interest.

COPA AMERICA: Fan fights in Glendale | Wrong national anthem played

“As far as I know, there’s no offer,” he said. “I’m here with the national team, this subject is for my representatives. More important for me is to be here, focused on the national team and having a good tournament. That’s where my head is.”

Coutinho’s international teammate Willian, himself said to be the subject of interest from Manchester United this summer, also made it clear that he is paying no attention to his future in club football.

Incoming United boss Jose Mourinho is reported to be keen to take the Chelsea winger to Old Trafford, but the 27-year-old says neither he nor any of his colleagues will have their heads turned this summer.

“No, no, we have to focus here. The mentality… my head is here. We have to think only about the national team.”

He continued: “I am happy for him. He scored three goals, he played well. I think we have to… not only him but the whole team, we have to play like we played today.

“I think we had a great game tonight, and now we have to continue in the same way and win game by game. We have to improve always, because in football you can’t stop, never stop. You have to always improve and I think we are doing that.”

Brazil’s victory puts the side back on track in Group B following an opening draw with Ecuador.

Victory against Peru in the final group game in Boston on Sunday will secure top spot for Dunga’s men.

Brazil 7-1 Haiti: Coutinho hat trick inspires Copa America rout

Philippe Coutinho, Renato Augusto, Gabriel and Lucas Lima were all on target as Brazil boosted its Copa America quarterfinal hopes.

Philippe Coutinho netted a hat trick as Brazil kick-started its Copa America Centenario campaign with a 7-1 win over Haiti.

Brazil played out a contentious goalless draw with Ecuador last time out but there was nothing controversial about Wednesday’s Group B victory as Philippe Coutinho put the result beyond doubt against the Caribbean minnow during the first 45 minutes in Orlando.

Coutinho scored twice inside the opening half hour and completed his hat trick in the second minute of injury time at Camping World Stadium.

COPA AMERICA: Fan fights in Glendale | Wrong national anthem played

Renato Augusto scored twice with goals in each half, while substitutes and Santos pair Gabriel – dubbed the new Neymar – and Lucas Lima got in on the action after the break to ease some of the pressure on coach Dunga at the centenary tournament in the United States.

Brazil, though, was exposed in defense as James Marcelin scored Haiti’s first Copa America goal with 20 minutes remaining.

With Miranda still unfit, Dunga retained the center back pairing of Gil and Marquinhos as Brazil named an unchanged starting XI.

Looking to pull off a shock and snap a three-game losing streak, CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinalist Haiti called in Jean Alexandre, Jean Alcenat and Kevin Belfort at the expense of Wilde Donald Guerrier, Max Hilaire and Duckens Nazon.

As expected, Brazil controlled the game against the 74th-ranked nation but was made to wait 15 minutes for the opener, though it was worth it after Coutinho produced a stunning strike to break the deadlock.

Left in plenty of space, Coutinho collected the ball outside the penalty area and beared down on goal before unleashing a powerful effort beyond Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide.

For all of Brazil’s dominance, the side was often sloppy in possession but that did not stop them from doubling the lead via Coutinho just shy of the half-hour mark in an all too easy sequence of play.

Dani Alves crossed in from the right flank, picking out Jonas, who outmuscled two opponents, including the keeper, and squared the ball to an unmarked Coutinho for the Liverpool star to tap into an empty net for Brazil’s 400th Copa America goal.

30 – #Coutinho is the first #Brazil player to score a #CopaAmerica brace in the first 30 minutes, since Rivaldo in 1999 v Uruguay. Magic

— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 9, 2016

Haiti emerged from the halftime break on the front foot, threatening at times but was not clinical enough as Gabriel came off the bench to extend Brazil’s lead.

Staking his claim for a starting berth after replacing Jonas at the interval, teenager Gabriel was fed through by Elias and coolly slotted the ball past Placide on the hour.

Brazil showed no signs of easing up on Haiti as fellow substitute Lucas Lima got in on the action in the 68th minute, nodding home Alves’ cross.

Haiti, though, did score, with USA-based forward Marcelin thumping home the 70th-minute rebound after Alisson was unable to deal with Hilaire’s shot following a driving run from Nazon.

There was almost a sixth for Brazil after Gabriel’s impressive footwork but Willian’s stinging shot was saved by Placide with 12 minutes remaining, however Augusto completed his brace in the 86th minute with a tidy finish and Coutinho bagged his third late in stoppage time as the South American giant extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches.

Dani Alves urges Coutinho to quit Liverpool

The full-back, who is on the verge of joining Juventus, has backed his Brazil team-mate to play for Barcelona after facing another season without European football at Anfield


Dani Alves has suggested Philippe Coutinho should quit Liverpool in favour of a “top Champions League side” and feels his Brazil team-mate could play for Barcelona.

Coutinho enjoyed another stellar season at Anfield, sweeping the board at the end-of-season awards for the second consecutive season, but will be without European football once again.

Alves respects Liverpool’s history but recognises that Coutinho should be able to play at the top of the game on a regular basis amid links with Paris Saint-Germain.


GOALREAD MORE  | PSG face fight to sign Coutinho


“Football is about living the moment,” Alves told Yahoo Esportes.

“Liverpool have history but you should consider playing for top Champions League sides. He has the quality to play for Barcelona.”

Alves is set to leave Barcelona after eight years at Camp Nou, with a move to Juventus set to be completed early this week.

PSG face fight to sign Coutinho as Liverpool set to hold firm

The Ligue 1 champions are willing to offer around £45 million for the Brazilian, but anticipate facing a brick wall as the Reds are disinclined sellers

Liverpool are expected to bat away any approaches for Philippe Coutinho this summer as Jurgen Klopp plans to build his first full campaign at the helm around the club’s Player of the Season, Goal understands.

Paris Saint-Germain have made advances to the Brazil international’s camp as they plan another massive outlay in the transfer market. He fits the creative profile they are looking for and is on the Ligue 1 champions’ list of targets ahead of 2016-17. 

It is understood Coutinho is not a priority, though, with Alexis Sanchez and Antoine Griezmann their main objectives currently.

No official approach has been made to the Reds yet, but PSG would be open to offering around £45 million for the playmaker. 

However, they anticipate hitting a brick wall.

Coutinho, who signed a new five-year deal with the Reds in February, has given the club no indication he wants to move on. The 23-year-old is happy on Merseyside and his young family are settled in the city. 

Liverpool, similarly, have no designs on letting him depart. Klopp has referred to Coutinho as “a genius of a player” and the Rio-born star, bought for just £8.5m from Inter in January 2013, is one of the German’s genuine match winners.

He cleaned up at the club’s end of season awards, winning four accolades – the same total at the end of 2014-15, when former captain Steven Gerrard said: “I’m privileged to share a dressing room with him. He’s the next big thing for me.

“I hope he stays here for a long time and can help the club win more trophies.”
 


GOALREAD MORE  |’Klopp has a bit of Shankly about him’


Liverpool hold the same wish and would be loathe to lose another one of their premier players for a third season running. 

Luis Suarez left for Barcelona in the summer of 2014, with Raheem Sterling recruited by Manchester City a year later, when Steven Gerrard also exited to LA Galaxy. 

The club do not need to sell to buy, and are set to hold firm on Coutinho.

Hulk looks GINORMOUS next to Philippe Coutinho

The burly Zenit striker posed for a photo alongside the Liverpool midfielder – and the difference in size is staggering


GOALEXTRA TIME  


We all know Hulk is a big lad, but this is just too much.

The Zenit striker, who has scored 21 goals in 35 games this season, is currently with Brazil’s national team ahead of their Copa America campaign.

Hulk took time out to post a picture on Instagram alongside Philippe Coutinho – and next to the Liverpool midfielder, he looks even more enormous than usual…

 

Vamos lá mano @phil.coutinho #CopaAmericaCentenario #DeusNoComandoSempre

A photo posted by Givanildo V. De Sousa- Hulk (@hulkparaiba) onMay 28, 2016 at 9:12am PDT

Incredible!

Argentina, France and Chile all cast aside – Dunga's perfect Brasil Global Tour record

Ahead of Sunday’s clash against Panama, CBGT takes a look back at the coach’s 100% record that included wins over Argentina, France, Chile, USA and Colombia

Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour
05/09/2014 Brazil 1-0 Colombia Miami (USA)
09/06/2014 Brazil 1-0 Ecuador East Rutherford (USA)
11/10/2014 Brazil 2-0 Argentina Beijing (China)
14/10/2014 Japan 0-4 Brazil Singapore City (Singapore)
12/11/2014 Turkey 0-4 Brazil Istanbul (Turkey)
18/11/2014 Austria 1-2 Brazil Vienna (Austria)
26/03/2015 Brazil 3-1 France Paris (France)
29/03/2015 Brazil 1-0 Chile London (England)
07/06/2015 Brazil 2-0 Mexico Sao Paulo (Brazil)
10/06/2015 Brazil 1-0 Honduras Porto Alegre (Brazil)
05/09/2015 Brazil 1-0 Costa Rica Harrison (USA)
08/09/2015 Brasil 4-1 USA Foxborough (USA)

With one year to take stock of the “the 7-1” that brought the curtain down on the World Cup, the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour became a welcome distraction for the Selecao as new coach Dunga sought to implement wholesale changes to both the approach and personnel. It brought immediate success, too, as a more solid, pragmatic side sailed to six consecutive victories.

It all started with a sign of things to come, as new captain Neymar proved the match-winner by netting a sensational free-kick against Colombia in Miami.

That was followed up a few days later with another single-goal victory over Ecuador in East Rutherford as Willian came of age with the Selecao.

Things got even better in Dunga’s first match for which a trophy was up for grabs. On a night when Diego Tardelli and Jefferson looked to have established themselves in the long-term future of Brazil, Argentina were put to the sword in Bejing.

A fourth win arrived days later when Neymar stood up to take his place among the legends of the past with a stunning four-goal haul in Singapore.

He added two more when the Brasil Global Tour resumed in November, inspiring Dunga’s side to back-to-back 4-0 wins.

2014 came to a triumphant end in Vienna as Roberto Firmino went from unknown to household name in Brazil with one swing of his trusty right boot.

The 2015 calendar kicked off in earnest with a meeting with France in Paris that was followed up less than 72 hours by a match against Chile in London. Those first two outings of the post-World Cup 2014 era pitted the Selecao against strong opposition and served to restore some of the confidence that was left at an all-time low by the defeat to Germany in Belo Horizonte.

Dunga sought to usher in an evolution, bringing in a number of new faces as well some old friends. And the year ended with the coach’s perfect Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour record intact.

Below, CBGT revisits our six tour stops of 2015.

BRAZIL 3-1 FRANCE – 26/03/2015

The year began in March against the nation that dashed Dunga’s hopes of lifting the World Cup for a second time, in 1998. The two captains from Brazil’s 3-0 loss to France sat opposite one another in the dugouts. Though Dunga stressed this game was never about revenge, he would no doubt have taken particular pleasure in exorcising a few of his personal ghosts. Brazil had worked extensively on set pieces in the lead-up to the match, so the coaching staff were left frustrated after Real Madrid man Raphael Varane headed the hosts into a 21st-minute lead.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar was one of the members of the World Cup 2014 squad who survived Dunga’s cull and rewarded his new coach by grabbing the equaliser 20 minutes later, netting his 12th goal for Brazil. The Selecao then found their counter-attacking rhythm as Neymar put them ahead before Luiz Gustavo headed the third to seal a victory that pleased the press back at home. Brazil had their groove back.

BRAZIL 1-0 CHILE – 29/03/2015

Forward Roberto Firmino was the star of the show in Brazil’s second victory of 2015, upstaging both Neymar and Alexis Sanchez as the Selecao saw off a physical Chile side in London. A fiercely contested match saw Dunga field a much changed line-up due to the limited recovery time available to the players after the France game, with only Jefferson, Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda and Neymar retaining their places.

Douglas Costa and Philippe Coutinho were given chance to impress, as was veteran Robinho – who had netted nine goals in just eight previous games against Chile. Firmino watched from the bench in the first half as the game produced few opportunities for both sides. He was introduced in the second period and made an immediate impact, latching onto a Danilo through-ball to round the goalkeeper and net the only goal of the game. It was a strike that confirmed Firmino’s place for the upcoming Copa America. Brazil were now on a roll, with eight wins in eight games under Dunga.

BRAZIL 2-0 MEXICO – 07/06/2015

For the first time in 2015, Brazil were forced to take to the field without captain Neymar when they hosted Mexico ahead of the Copa America. The Barcelona star had been busy in Berlin the previous day, writing yet more history as he fired his club side to the Champions League title.

Without him, the Selecao struggled to find any real cohesion going forward. Mexico threatened to cause an upset as Brazil controlled possession but failed to carve out many clear chances. It was a big night for Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho, who was given a chance to prove he can be a worthy deputy to Neymar – and it was a chance he grabbed with both hands he scored a wonderful goal before Diego Tardelli netted to ensure Dunga’s 100 pe cent record remained intact. Brazil had feared they would be in for a frosty reception in what was their first game since World Cup 2014, but the locals received their returning stars with open arms.

BRAZIL 1-0 HONDURAS – 10/06/2015

On a cold and rainy night in Porto Alegre, the Selecao saw few fans brave the elements to turn out at the Beira Rio stadium, where Dunga had begun his career with local side Internacional. It was Brazil’s final match before kicking off their Copa America campaign and they were without right-back Danilo, who suffered an injury against Mexico that would keep him out of the tournament in Chile. Monaco’s Fabinho replaced him in the side and Thiago Silva was dropped in favour of David Luiz. Real Madrid midfielder Casmeiro was also given a chance to impress in midfield.

Neymar was back and made an appearance of the substitutes’ bench in a narrow victory that once again saw Firmino come to Brazil’s rescue. The performance sparked some fresh concerns as Dunga prepared his side for their first competitive match since the World Cup but Firmino once again ensured the winning streak continued, netting the only goal of the game after 32 minutes to give the Selecao victory in Porto Alegre – they had now won ten on the bounce under their new coach.

BRAZIL 1-0 COSTA RICA – 05/09/2015

The Copa America proved disappointing for Brazil as they exited in the quarter-final following a penalty-shootout defeat to Paraguay. However, by now attentions had already turned to the upcoming World Cup qualification campaign and Dunga made a number of changes to the squad that went to Chile, with the likes of Thiago Silva banished while Hulk returned for the first time in over a year. Kaka also returned, while Gremio’s Marcelo Grohe replaced Jefferson in goal. Santos playmaker Lucas Lima also joined the squad and would make his debut for the national team.

The clash with Costa Rica marked a year since Dunga’s reappointment and it would be the penultimate test before qualification began. With Neymar suspended for the first two qualifiers following a red card against Colombia at Copa America, Hulk inspired the Selecao to victory with the only goal of the game in New Jersey.

BRAZIL 4-1 USA – 08/09/2015

Brazil ended the year with their most complete performance of 2015, hammering USA 4-1 in Boston with Neymar the star of the show, as he came off the bench at half-time to score twice in their last match before kicking off their World Cup qualifying campaign. Neymar’s Barcelona team-mate Rafinha Alcantara also impressed, scoring a wonderful goal to round off a comprehensive victory at the Gillette Stadium that won back the confidence of the Brazilian media.

2015 on the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour proved a hugely successful year for Dunga and his charges. Now they hoe 2016 will bring just as much success. Next stop, Colorado.

Leicester & Liverpool to battle for Long

The Southampton striker has scored 13 goals in 32 appearances in 2015-16 and is now wanted by both the Premier League champions and Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer. You always have to check Soccer Scores when he’s in the first team.

Leicester City and Liverpool are both keen to sign Southampton striker Shane Long this summer, according to The Independent.

The Foxes are keen to reinforce their squad after winning the Premier League while Liverpool are attracted by the forward’s physical game.

However, the report claims that a bid of at least £25 million will be needed to persuade the Saints, who are preparing for a Europa League campaign in 2015-16.

Will he join Philippe Coutinho in Liverpool, only time will tell.

Coutinho asked for a selfie – straight after Liverpool's Europa League defeat

The Brazilian looked glum after the final whistle but that didn’t stop one fan from rushing up to him for a quick snap on the pitch


GOALEXTRA TIME  


There’s a time and a place for everything – but a selfie with a Liverpool player after Wednesday’s Europe League final was definitely the wrong moment.

Jurgen Klopp’s men slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla, despite taking the lead through Daniel Sturridge’s stunning strike as the Spanish club roared back with a barnstorming second-half display.

There were tears at full-time from Liverpool players and fans – but one supporter decided to seize the moment and get a selfie with a glum-faced Philippe Coutinho.

And the Brazilian really didn’t look too happy to oblige…

Magic man Coutinho must make Liverpool levitate in Europa League final

The 23-year-old enjoyed a clean sweep at the club’s awards ceremony, but he now has the chance to win a first trophy with the Reds in the Europa League final


GOALEXCLUSIVE


There were times, as a futsal aficionado in Brazil and then especially as a weighty teenage investment at Inter, when Philippe Coutinho wondered whether he was really cut out for football and if all the sacrifices had been worth it.

As an 18-year-old, he was declared “the future” of the Italian side who recruited him from Vasco, with his parents moving from South America to join their son on his European expeditition.

Coutinho’s father painfully had to quit his job, and his mother was terribly homesick as neither could pick up the language nor get accustomed to a completely alien culture. 

They eventually returned to Rio de Janeiro. 

Aine, his then girlfriend and now wife and mother of his five-month old daughter, left everything behind at 17 to support the playmaker’s career. 

He suffered multiple injuries at Inter and was never guaranteed a start, so the question marks he had over his path were understandable. But when the 23-year-old lines up for the Europa League final against Sevilla at St Jakob-Park on Wednesday, there will be no doubts – only another occasion to push himself and Liverpool to greater heights. 

Coutinho, signed for a steal of £8.5 million in January 2013, has certified himself as the club’s big-game player: scoring in both trips to Wembley over the past two seasons, netting the decisive strike in the last 16 to eliminate Manchester United from the continental competition, as well as getting the second in the astounding 4-3 comeback victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final at Anfield.

He missed his spot-kick in the League Cup shootout defeat to Manchester City at the end of February, but it was his goal that allowed the club to even force the game to penalties under the arch of the national stadium.

CLEAN SWEEP! Phil Coutinho is #LFC Player of the Season, his fourth award of the night – the same tally as last year pic.twitter.com/AyOIfus2qz

— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) 12 May 2016

Coutinho is Liverpool’s joint-top scorer with 12 in the campaign, and as the Reds look to conjure something special in their 12th European showpiece in Basel, they will again turn to ‘O Magico’.

Last week, he scooped four awards at the club’s annual ceremony, including Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season. It mirrored the haul he collected in 2014-15, when Steven Gerrard handed over the accolades and stated: “I’m privileged to share a dressing room with him. He’s the next big thing for me.

“I hope he stays here for a long time and can help the club win more trophies.”

Gerrard’s second wish is exactly what Coutinho will aim to start achieving at St Jakob-Park, where he can close off another impressive personal campaign with team honours. His individual prizes at Liverpool number double figures, but he is yet to lift a collective one.

The Reds have come close – ‘hitting the post’ as per the Brazilian saying – in the 2013-14 title race, the 2015 FA Cup and League Cup as well as this season’s edition of the latter.


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At the club’s 2016-17 New Balance kit launch in front of the majestic Liver Building last Monday, kids wearing his name on the back of their shirts implored Coutinho to sign autographs, before telling the Rio-born star they backed him to break that sequence of near-misses against Sevilla.

A little boy, no older than eight, tugged on the attacker’s tattooed arm and simply said: “I believe we can do it because of you. Bring home the Cup.”

Coutinho would love nothing more.

“A win would be fantastic for me,” he admitted.

“I have enjoyed the season and it would make it really special, yes. But for the entire squad, too. 

“We would end the season on a high and be in the Champions League, of course. That is important for the club and for the players too – Liverpool is a club that needs to be at the highest level.”

The virtuoso who grew up in the shadow of the iconic Maracana Stadium is just the player to help them get there.