Liverpool's Coutinho: Futsal helped me to succeed in football
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho believes futsal has given him the necessary skills to succeed in English football.
The game, which is extremely popular in his homeland of Brazil, teaches players close ball control as well as short, quick passing and dribbling skills.
"I played futsal from the age of six," Coutinho said. "Then when I was seven I went to Vasco da Gama, I was playing futsal until I was 11 before I moved to the pitch.
"This is where I learned my skills. When you play futsal it is more technical and much quicker.
"The place where you play is much smaller and the pace higher so you need to be a highly technical player to play futsal properly.
"That helped me a lot so wherever I go I try to adapt and learn quickly.
"It is a quicker game here as they always say, quicker than in Brazil or Italy. English football is much more intense. It was not so bad when I went to Italy but when I came over it was quite difficult for me to get going, to get into the rhythm of the game.
"Hopefully, further ahead, I'll be able to get to the same level of my teammates as regards the pace of the game."
While Coutinho is getting used to life on the pitch in England, he has been offered a helping hand from fellow Brazilian Lucas - and others - when it comes to settling in away from the game.
"He has been a huge friend," said Coutinho. "He has been like a father giving me all the information I needed, not only him - those other players who speak Spanish all helped me. Lucas has explained how the club works."
Source: Liverpool FC