30 Mar 2015

'Great Player': Pele raves about £20m Liverpool star and compares him to Brazil legend Socrates

Football legend Pele has hailed the progress of Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho, and compared him to one of Brazil's greatest international stars.

Pele recently attended Liverpool's 2-1 home defeat against Manchester United, and when asked this week about fellow Brazilian Coutinho, he raved:

"Coutinho is another great player produced by Brazil. Socrates had a similar style, but he was probably slower than Philippe".

For £20m-rated* Coutinho to be truly considered alongside Brazil's international greats, he'll need to become a regular for the national team, and given the intense competition, that may take a while.

Lucas Leiva knows how difficult it is to break into the Brazil team, but he's convinced that Coutinho can make it. He told LFC.com:

"You have Willian, Oscar and Neymar [which] makes it even harder for Phil, for example, but I'm sure he will be in the national team for many, many years and he will end up being one of the key players, for sure."

It's a nice idea, but I'm not so sure. Neymar is going to be around for years, and the likes of Oscar, Willian etc are already more established/experienced.

Additionally, new players are always coming through, and at some point in the near future, the 'next big thing' in Brazilian football will inevitably emerge, which will make it even harder for Coutinho.

That said, I'd love to see Liverpool's number 10 playing for Brazil at the next World Cup. Can he overcome the odds and become a regular for the national team?

The downside, of course, is that if Coutinho becomes an international star, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona will inevitably come knocking, and it could be Luis Suarez all over again.

* Last reported valuation



  1. The Brazil Chile match was yesterday. Coutinho played but no one noticed it seems ;-)

  2. Sturridge injury prone so...

    1. Balotelli

    2. Lambert
    3. Borini


    4. Sterling

    as our striker?

    I know who I am going with. And then there are those who want rid of Sterling but who will we replace him without CL football???

  3. The great Magrao himself... That's no faint praise.

  4. Get our hands on a 3D Scanner and borrow Suarez for a minute or two

  5. This is such a false argument. Liverpool signed Suarez without CL football. Someone else will also come through/be signed to pick up the slack, and history proves this.

    All this exaggerated talk about Sterling somehow irreplaceable is nonsense. Liverpool will survive just fine without him.

  6. Funny you should mention exaggerated talk ;-)

  7. Keep in mind though... one of the main reasons why we could get Suarez was because of all his issues, namely the fact that he just bit a player (amazingly the first of 3 times he'd do this).

    So yes, we will be able to get a player without CL football. But we will undoubtedly have to take on some sort of risk.

    And it's not like Suarez was cheap at the time. He still cost 22.5m.

    Granted, it's not an apocalyptic occurrence if we don't get 4th or higher this year.

  8. Was the grass too tall?

  9. Coutinho like so many others has all the basic attributes of a world class player. Whether or not he can polish the last few rough edges off his game and, crucially, find the consistency to do it every week the way the truly top players do.
    Funnily enough Jaimie, as you know I don't read too much into the over-hype thing but yesterday while watching Brazil I heard the commentator describe Neymar as undoubtedly one of the best talents in Brazil's history and I thought 'hold the bus'... He's done well for someone so young but one of the best talents in BRAZIL'S history? That's a bold claim for someone who's yet to win a major trophy in Europe or on the world stage

  10. God Aldo can be a f**ing old bitter idiot- 'Torres was fortunate to get a warm reception. He wouldn't get one from me. My feelings about him are already well known'. Jesus Christ, get the f*** over it. What's the point in holding a grudge for so long? I was bitter at Torres too for a little while...except until about 3 years ago! What he did wasn't actually too different to what Suarez did; they both left for trophies. Torres just badly mistimed his, he has some regrets about the way he left, and he's desperate to rebuild bridges with the LFC fans that he still holds in a lot higher regard than every other fan base in the world (maybe apart from Atletico). Everyone has moved on. Seeing him play in that charity match was like seeing Darth Vader's ghost enjoying the party at the end of Star Wars 6 with Obi Wan and Yoda. All is forgiven.

  11. All great points.

    It's also worth mentioning our current trajectory too. LFC is a team on the rise. When we signed Suarez, we were kinda stagnated and not in the best position to be expected to accomplish anything. The risk taken to sign Suarez would be a bigger/different risk than the one required to sign someone now.

    A whole new bracket of young players wanting to make the jump to a bigger club without losing game time is opened up. Even without CL this year, the players needing a move but wary of losing minutes at mega clubs might see us as an opportunity to establish themselves at a high level, and perhaps improve with the club as it grows.

  12. No one is saying they should play for nothing but there is a limit to what any player is worth and Sterling has pushed the limit.
    You like many others are thinking he is the next Christiano Ronaldo but he could just as well be the next Aaron Lennon in my eyes.

  13. "The sole owner of 'Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Ground LIMITED' is Fenway Sports Group through certain wholly owned subsidiaries..."

    I quote that from the LFC site to highlight the different relationship that Sterling has with the club to us. And to highlight that our beloved club is a money making enterprise. FSG aren't some altruistic billionaires who have made their money in equities and are now giving back through charitable work in football. They invested in LFC LIMITED to make money.

    I worked for a TV company managing customer services. Our programming had a devoted fanbase, watched the shows religiously, called in with improvement suggestions, were devastated when presenters left, schedules changed or any aspects of the shows altered / didn't altered to their tastes. Their belief was that we did what we did for their benefit, for improvement. Every change we made was economic. Dollar bills were what we cared about. Well pound notes, but dollars sounds better ;) FSG are the same. The savings they make from his contract may help fund another player. But you can also bet they'll also help the profit & loss, balance sheet, and bottom line profits to the "wholly owned subsidiaries".

    Sterling shares the same relationship with the club that any employee has. I'm more than twice Raheem's age and my career still has decades to run. His, especially as pace is the key component, will likely be over in 10-12yrs.

    Do I like his stance or what he's doing? No. Do I understand it? Yes.

    Sidenotes: what is an obscene amount of salary to be paid? Personally I'd like to own my own carribean island, fly the world to every sporting event I fancy watching every week, own a luxury appartment in every city with a garage full of luxury sports cars, and eat lobster every day. I'll never achieve it. Maybe Raheem wants to live the dream.

    And, it doesn't seem to have been discussed: it's reported that one of his stumbling blocks is his perpetual use at wingback rather than in a forward role. Whilst I don't think any player should (be able to) dictate his starting position, if I was a young surgeon and being asked to be anaesthetist - especially in a hospital with a lack of surgeons - preventing me from getting better as a surgeon, I'd probably think it time to switch hospitals regardless of any salary/perks offered.

  14. I think with Euro 2016 in the horizon, players would want to play rather than warm the bench. Therefore this should be the year for us to get some really good players for hopefully cheaper prices.

  15. Sterling was with a huge agency, same guys that manage Yaya, Hazard, Cuadrado, amongst many others. The final decision will be Raheem's no doubt. But he will almost certainly place a great deal of trust and reliance on the advice he is given and their experience of getting their clients at the top clubs in the world winning medals and getting paid top dollar. Exactly as you've pointed out, his education isn't just poor, it's sub-standard; he was a problem child removed from normal schooling.

    (I know his personal agent was breaking away from the bigger agency, that was said to be one of the delays, don't know whether that's happened.)

  16. Skrtel. Sakho. Can. Henderson. Coutinho.

    Just to name a few who I and maybe other believe have been more important.

    Even Alberto Moreno. We give him shit for some of his performances, but tell me, who can replace him? No one can effectively. That, to me, signifies importance. I don't give a flying fuck if you are the most skillful, talented player on the team.

    Tell me. Who would you rather have against Arsenal? Skrtel or Sterling. I'd go with Skrtel every goddamn time. He might not be the hottest shit in the world right now, might not be the next english talent, but look at what he has done for us this season. He, without a doubt, has contributed to the team unlike any other has. Defensively, Leadership, you name it.

    Sterling? Sorry, but I think we can fare without him. There are players who would kill for his position right now (Markovic), and others who will have the chance soon (Ibe). We don't need Sterling. But, if he shows a bit of compassion towards the team, and stoops to his own level, by all means stay.

  17. Finding a suitable replacement for Sterling is going to cost a heck load of money and who exactly will we sign when the teams that finish ahead of us will all have preference.

    Add to that how shockingly bad the +- £120m was spent this season when we failed to sign the right players and instead went for square pegs in round holes.

    If Chelsea, Arsenal, City and UTD who most likely will finish ahead of us approach the same targets as us at the satrt of next season then we will lose hands down.

    The only way we are going to attract better players is to consistently feature in the CL and win trophies. IMHO we also need someone with pedigree to attract better players. It has not and will not happen with Rodgers. We have signed some great young talent, most clubs can do that. Signing experienced, top quality players is where we have struggled. Getting rid of Sterling will be a massive mistake.

  18. He is 20. Not overrated, just not worth more than 120k per week tops.

  19. Or a nice black one. Love a cute black pussy. :)

  20. Sterling would get a starting spot over Navas and also in a short space of time, Nasri.

  21. He hasn't done enough imo. Coutinho is worth well more than him. I've said it all along. Sterling will be sold to the highest bidder but people were calling me crazy. Yeah!

  22. Exactly. We got him from QPR and we'll make a massive profit to spend on more dodgy players. :)
    Seriously though, I'd rather keep the player but not at all cost. If he want out, open the door and say thanks for what you've done. Peace!!

  23. Man Utd are better than the team England played. Did you see the game? He ain't a bloody wingback.

  24. I bet you thought the same of Hendo. Milner is a central mid not a flair player.

  25. Good on him for playing i think him leaving was best for Liverpool looking back at his form at Chelsea just a damn pity we went and got Carroll.

  26. To be fair Hendo was young, immature & in awe of Gerrard which stifled his game. He's now grown up, both physically and mentally. Milner has no excuse, he's been around the block & is still the same, mentally he hasn't pushed on.

  27. I'd say that's tenuous at best.

    Possible? Absolutely.

    But I wouldn't comfortably stake any amount of money on it.

  28. Hell Yeah!

  29. New TV money coming, so players want more money. Don't think of the fan and maybe club can reduce ticket price. No, no, think of themselves.
    Time to turn our backs people. This player is average at best. Boycott this Keos

  30. not even sturidge, half the player he was since suarez left. imo

  31. Fukin sell him. Simples. Git Ibe and others coming through. If we back down to one player, it'll open the flood gates. Stand strong LFC over this one

  32. Can and Sakho have only played half the games. Skrtel was atrocious at the start of the season and Coutinho was anonymous. Hendo is the only player you name who has been close to Sterling's importance to the squad over the whole season. Anyone denying his worth is doing so for reasons other than what he's done on the pitch this season.
    He's only 20 and he's carried us a number of times this season

  33. You grossly overestimate Sterling's value to Liverpool this season. Some facts:

    * 17 games without a goal between Sep 20th and December 17th. How exactly did Sterling 'carry the team' for that two month period?

    * Only ONE goal in the last 9 games. At the crunch time of the season, when it really matters, Sterling is AWOL.

    * Only 3 assists in the last 23 games.

    * Only 3 goals in the last 23 Premier League games

    And we're supposed to believe that Sterling is somehow LFC's saviour, and is irreplaceable?!

    What a load of cobblers. Liverpool will not miss Sterling in the slightest if he leaves, and he has not carried Liverpool this season. He's doing a functional job for the team, not more, no less, i.e. he is doing what he's paid to do: score/create goals, yet he isn't even doing that consistently.


  34. For a start, players are very rarely consistent at 20 and he's had an incredible amount of pressure on him this season but even with that, point me to another 20 year old in world football who is performing at Sterling's level and is as important to their club.
    I didn't say he was irreplaceable or the second coming just that THIS season he has been our most important player and he has HUGE potential for the next couple of years. It would be madness to sell him and then fork out millions to try and replace him

  35. Socrates "[p]robably slower" than Coutinho? Not like Pelé to allow for even a hint of understatement to creep into his rhetoric.

    When most people say a player plays with a cigar in their mouth, they mean it metaphorically. Not so when it comes to the good Doctor Socrates...

  36. Sterling wants an IBE now!?

    His contract demands are getting more outrageous by the day.

  37. It's true we'd hae been screwed when Sturridge was out, with only Borini, Lambo and Balotelli the only strikers we had.... What is it? 3 or 4 goals between em.....

  38. It's funny, I have been calling Sterling highly over rated for a while now, but when he has been the only player we could trust to fill in for Sturridge when we have 3 proper strikers in the squad who should've stepped up, you have to except that if he hadn't been available, we would have been in a far worse position right now than we are.... Still think he's well overrated though...

  39. Exactly and none of them capable of playing the formation that resurrected our season competently

  40. You know what Jock... I think alot of this anti Sterling rubbish has more to do with hurt pride at the thought that our best player doesn't seem all that keen on playing for our team anymore... I mean who in their right mind doesn't want to play for LFC with absolute devotion.... It stings finding out we aren't the be all and end all for players..So it's easier to attack the guy's integrity than except reality...

  41. Very true Greg very true... Caroll (head in my hands)