Last Thursday, Coutinho was brought on for Brazil during their South American World Cup qualifying match against Ecuador and changed the game.
The Liverpool midfielder was introduced in the 61st-minute with the score still level at 0-0. His silky skills saw Brazil eventually run out 3-0 winners.
You’d think that the cameo performance shown by the 24-year-old was enough to see him start against Colombia on Tuesday night. However, Tite named Coutinho amongst the substitutes once again.
It was Coutinho who changed the game after coming on for Willian in the 66th-minute.
The scores were level at 1-1 before the former Inter Milan man swung the game in Brazil’s favour. Not only did he assist Neymar’s winning goal in the 2-1 victory, but he appeared to take the game by the scruff of the neck to win his side the three points.
If you don’t believe us, simply watch the video of his highlights below. Players don’t usually make that sort of contribution over the 90 minutes and it’s hard to believe that the below clip is from just 24 minutes of playing time.
Yeah, pretty impressive stuff.
Brazil’s win gave them an excellent chance of qualifying for the Russia World Cup in the summer of 2018. However, the 10-team qualifying group is extremely tight as Brazil sit in second, one point behind Uruguay and two points ahead of fifth-placed - Ecuador - who would have to enter the playoffs.
Liverpool fans will be hoping that Coutinho won’t be feeling any ill effects from his cameo ahead of Saturday’s clash with Leicester. In fact, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made ‘special arrangements’ to ensure that isn’t the case.
“For Coutinho, he is coming back Thursday morning at 9am and only because we make a few special arrangements with flights. Otherwise, he would come on Thursday night, so nobody wants this. But we cannot change so why should I complain?” he said.
The Reds have already seen Coutinho’s capabilities this season, most notably in the opening match of the season where he scored a magnificent brace in a 4-3 victory over Arsenal.
He may only be restricted to substitute appearances for his country but he is vital to Liverpool’s chances this season and is one of the first names on the team sheet.