Dani Alves has praised compatriot Philippe Coutinho following Brazil’s 3-0 win over Russia in an international friendly. The Barcelona attacker score his ninth goal for the country in the fixture, and following the game, Alves was full of praise for the attacker, whom he compared to close friend and teammate Neymar.
Speaking after the match, Alves said: “I think that Coutinho is a player who is on the same level as Ney, he has a massive influence on our game and in his teams. When he was in Liverpool and now in Barca, he has improved a lot and learned to read the game better, to make the right decisions.That is great to see, to play with such a good footballer who has that ability. There are others who are similar. We are lucky to play with great players and have them on our side is fantastic. We have to get the best out of them and build a solid team.”
Coutinho had been long linked with a switch to the Blaugrana, and the move was finally realised midway through the current season after the club agreed to pay a club-record £146m fee for his services. The Brazilian has since quickly integrated into the squad with three goals and as many assists, but he has to face the disappointment of not being able to play in the Champions League, where he is ineligible to feature.
Brazil will now turn their focus to an international friendly against Germany on Tuesday night, and the game will witness their meeting for the first time since the 2014 World Cup semi-final. The match was truly one to forget as Brazil were humbled by a 7-1 scoreline by eventual champions Germany, and they will be eyeing some sort of revenge in the friendly scheduled in Berlin. Coutinho unfortunately won’t face-off against teammate Marc-Andre TerStegen, who has been ruled out for Germany with a minor knee problem.