No one can deny that Brazilian National team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has done a masterful job since rejoining the Selecao outfit for a second run at a World Cup trophy. Scolari seems to have put the right pieces together at all the right moments, mixing grit and determination with the flair and style synonymous with the five-time World Cup champions.
Nonetheless, there are some head scratching decisions when it comes to the selection of his side. Not necessarily in the first eleven, but definitely amongst the squad players and first choice substitutes.
I could make a case for Fernandinho of Manchester City and Willian of Chelsea to be in the side as first choice players, yet they have not been called up in almost two years. Scolari tends to favor players on home soil such as Jo, Jadson, Leandro Damiao and others who have not proven themselves week in and week out against elite competition. It is no secret the Brazilian top flight lacks tactical integrity as well as defensive solidity, compared to the quality that a player will encounter in the top leagues around Europe.
There is a star emerging in Europe, in the English Premier League at Liverpool Football club by the name of Philippe Coutinho. At age 22, the young Brazilian has set the Premiership on fire with his performances as the main creator in a side that sits near the top of the Premier League table. A blind man can see the talent and potential he has, yet his one and only cap came in 2010 as a 19 year old in a friendly match in Iran.
I know the selection process for any national team can be unpredictable at times, but playing in the Premier League and putting in the performances he has put on as of late, Scolari had to notice this jewel of a footballer. Current form has to count for something. Coutinho’s displays must have garnered attention and recognition back in Brazil.
Coutinho embodies the golden era of Brazilian football; he plays with flair, passion and an insatiable appetite to take players on in the attacking third of the pitch. If Coutinho can maintain his current form and lead Liverpool to a Champions League spot, Scolari has no choice but to select him as there is sure to be an outcry for his services throughout the heart of Brazil.