The Liverpool man capped just his second start for his country with a fine solo strike in Brazil’s victory over Mexico and is ready to star in Chile
Philippe Coutinho has set his sights on helping Brazil to Copa America glory this month, regardless of whether he plays.
The Liverpool attacker has had to settle for a cameo role under coach Dunga, but made his claim for a starting berth on Sunday as he hit Brazil’s opener in their 2-0 victory over Mexico.
With Chlesea’s Oscar absent this month due to injury, Coutinho is now favourite to break into the first team in Chile but insists the entire squad will have a part to play.
“It is a great opportunity not only for me, but for the whole group,” Coutinho said.
“The Copa America is a great competition. We are focused, no matter who plays. Our only concern is to get there in good form and win the tournament.
“Everyone is fighting for a place, which is very important. We are always seeking the best.”
Coutinho opened the scoring with a fine solo effort in Sao Paulo, before Diego Tardelli rounded off victory in Brazil’s first match on home soil since last year’s World Cup.
“I am very happy with my goal,” Coutinho continued.
“When I received the ball, I saw the defender coming and just turned, without even touching the ball. Once at the byline, I imagined that the goalkeeper would dive so I tried the shot.”
The 22-year-old is now hoping to retain his place in the side for Wednesday’s Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour friendly with Honduras, which will be the Selecao’s final warm-up match before heading to Chile.