The Liverpool star produced impressive performances coming on as a substitute in his last two games for the national team, while his manager insists it is his “moment” to shine
Brazil coach Tite has explained why he is opting for Philippe Coutinho ahead of Willian for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Liverpool star Coutinho, who has started the 2016-17 Premier League season in impressive form, is set to start the matches against Bolivia and Venezuela.
Willian had been preferred for Tite’s first two matches in charge but Coutinho’s displays off the bench have seemingly earned him a place ahead of the Chelsea star.
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“Why Coutinho instead of Willian? There’s a reason he is called the Magician [by Liverpool fans],” he told ESPN.
“It was a difficult decision for me, but right now this is Coutinho’s moment. And in football, you have to follow the moment.
“With his passes Coutinho opens the lines, creates space. I like his mobility, he was influential in both games when he came on.”
Tite’s first two games have resulted in wins, a 3-0 victory over Ecuador followed by a 2-1 win against Colombia and the 55-year-old says he wants to see his team maintain those standards.
“The three points with Ecuador are worth the same as the three of Argentina,” he added.
“The objective is to qualify.”
Brazil sit second in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, a point behind leaders Uruguay.