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May 5, 2014

Coutinho still dreaming of World Cup

Philippe Coutinho says he is still dreaming of playing for Brazil at this summer's World Cup.

Philippe Coutinho has yet to feature for Brazil under Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Philippe Coutinho has yet to feature for Brazil under Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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Coutinho has enjoyed an excellent season at Liverpool, playing a key role in their title challenge in the Premier League, but he has not featured for his country since making his debut in a friendly under former coach Mano Menezes in 2010.

Asked why he feels he has not been selected so far, he told Placar: "It's a complicated question. Every coach has his favourites and [current boss Luiz Felipe] Scolari is no different.

"I still dream about it [the World Cup] and I'm working hard to prove I deserve my chance, but I know there's a lot of tough competition."

At 21, he may have to look ahead to the 2018 World Cup if he misses out this summer, but he said: "I'll certainly be more mature, but I would still have to work hard to earn a place in the selecao. Anyway, 2018 is a long way away. I prefer to focus my attentions on 2014."

Coutinho appears to be competing with Chelsea star Willian for a place in Scolari's squad for this summer's tournament.

"I think we're on the same level," he added. "Willian is a great player and has shown that here."

Coutinho, who Liverpool from Inter Milan in January 2013, feels he has improved as a player since moving to Anfield.

"The atmosphere here is fantastic," he said. "The players here welcomed me and that was essential in terms of speeding up my adaptation. Also, I think the playing style here suits me."

Asked whether Reds captain Steven Gerrard had assisted his development, he replied: "Sure. He is a great player. He knows all there is to know about playing in midfield. He helps me a lot. We are always sharing ideas."

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