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Coutinho Gets Backing from Thiago Silva

Brazil centre-half Thiago Silva says Philippe Coutinho has become especially important to the Seleção in the absence of Neymar.

Neymar has been ruled out of the Copa América with an ankle injury and PSG centre-half Thiago says Coutinho can put a forgettable season with Barcelona behind him in Brazil.

“Coutinho had a difficult season in Barcelona,” Silva said. “It was demanding and they booed him many times, but here in the team he is our reference, especially when we don’t have Neymar.

“Coutinho calls the game. In the two friendlies we played he was the best player on the pitch, not only because of passes and goals, but also with his defence. He is finding his happiness again.

“I’m very happy and not at all uncomfortable talking about this player because we are very close. In the first friendly, I tried to pass him some calmness, and I told Neymar also to give him help. We need him, especially now with the absence of Neymar.”

 
 

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