Philippe Coutinho can win the Ballon D'or

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the only two players to have won the Ballon D'or in the last seven years but their dominance could be brought to an end by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian has the world at his gifted feet and, considering he is five years younger than Messi and seven years younger than Ronaldo, has a fantastic opportunity to win the greatest individual accolade in world football.

Signed from Inter Milan for just £8.5 million in January 2013, the talented youngster has taken the Premier League by storm in recent years. 


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Key role

Although often overlooked by Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, Coutinho played a key role in Liverpool's 2013-14 season where they came agonisingly close to winning the league. It was his winning goal in the home match against Manchester City that put them seven points clear of them with just four matches remaining.

Last season saw Coutinho add goals to his ever developing game. A total of eight goals, whilst not overly impressive, was a career best and something he'll hope to improve even more this campaign.

His performances last year saw him shortlisted for the PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year but narrowly lost out to Eden Hazard and Harry Kane respectively. However, his season saw him secure a place in PFA Team of the Year.

On fire

But Coutinho has improved even more over the summer and has started his year on fire. A superb winner against Stoke on the opening weekend kick started his season and he hasn't looked back since.

His footwork is good enough to rival Messi himself. Rarely do you see a defender take the ball off the magician when he's in full flow. His simply ridiculous movement to get half a yard against Hector Bellerin on Monday night was just magical and left the Arsenal full-back searching for the ball. If it wasn't for an unbelievable save from Petr Cech it would have a been a sensational goal.

His vision and passing isn't half bad either. His ability to thread a delicate through ball to perfection can only be rivaled by David Silva in the Premier League.

Kop icon

He's had to fill the voids left by the departures of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez both adored by Liverpool fans but if Coutinho continues his form, he will be the next Kop icon at Anfield.

Gerrard himself revealed his admiration for his former team-mate when speaking at his leaving dinner by saying: "I want to pay tribute to Philippe. I'm privileged to share a dressing room with him. He's the next big thing for me." For somebody that's been in the game as long as Gerrard, that is one massive statement.

With Ronaldo and Messi only getting older and Coutinho only getting better it's not just on Merseyside the midfielder will worshiped, it's all over the world.

Do you think Coutinho has the ability to be the best in the world? Give us YOUR opinion in the comment box below! 

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Ballon d'Or
Steven Gerrard
Philippe Coutinho
Premier League

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