Brazil’s soccer is arguably no better country in the nation that pushes out good, young players. The next in a long line of starlets could be Inter Milan’s Philippe Coutinho, who followed a list of greats to Europe, and he’s one to keep your eye on.
The last young Brazilian to earn this much attention is also based in Milan, as A.C. Milan picked up Alexandre Pato in 2007 as a 17-year-old. Inter felt they had to go out and match their city rivals, with whom they share the San Siro, and bought Pato in 2008 as a 16-year-old, but they allowed him to stay in Brazil to play with Vasco da Gama. Since then, Coutinho has been brought along slowly, making seven starts and four substitute appearances for the club. He has yet to score a goal for Inter, but he has notched a couple of assists and has shown glimpses of the talent that made him so coveted by the club. Coutinho is an attacking midfielder who can use either foot, and it’s likely he will be used as a second striker at points in his career as well.
This can only bode well for Brazil, who will host the World Cup in 2014 and are looking to add to their record of five wins in the world’s greatest tournament. Coutinho scored three goals in five matches for the Under-17 side, and made his first senior appearance in a friendly against Iran in October. By 2014, Coutinho should be playing solid minutes for Inter (or some European club) and if he is, Pato and Coutinho could be the leading forces behind Brazil’s World Cup run.