Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho hoping for World Cup selection
Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is hoping he can earn a recall to the Brazilian national team ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
The 20 year-old has been capped once - a friendly against Iran - in October 2010.
Coutinho's impressed since joining Liverpool from Internazionale in January for £8.5 million.
This season, however, he’s been limited to just six appearances, after suffering a shoulder injury in a 2-2 draw at Swansea City.
After missing a month, Coutinho is now fit again and eyeing a place in Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad.
“I still think there is plenty of time for me to try and be part of the team,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“It’s always going to be difficult because there are a lot of players who play in my position who have been given their chance and are playing very well, but there is a lot of football to be played before the World Cup, so you just have to try to impress for your club until then.
“My main focus has to be on Liverpool and then see if anything develops. I have no idea if anyone is watching me from the Brazil national team but the best way to have a chance is to do well for Liverpool.”
If Coutinho does not receive a call up, he will still attend the World Cup, but as a fan.
“I will go to Rio to support Brazil even if I’m not in the squad,” he insists.
“The English season will be over, I’m a Brazilian who loves my country, so of course I will be following and supporting the side as much as any fan.”
Coutinho came to prominence at Vasco da Gama. Internazionale signed him as a 16 year-old in 2008 for €4 million. He joined them in July 2010 - rules forbid Brazilian players from moving abroad until they are 18.
Coutinho started well under then head coach Rafael Benítez, but his involvement become sporadic after the Spaniard was sacked. He was sent on loan to Espanyol in January 2012, rediscovering his best form.
However, after an indifferent opening to the 2012/13 campaign, back at Inter, he was sold to Liverpool.