For all the attention on Neymar in Russia this summer, Brazil have seen Philippe Coutinho emerge as their star man through the group stage of the World Cup.
The Barcelona playmaker has been a joy to watch at times, as after kick-starting the Selecao’s tournament with that sensational goal against Switzerland, he has continued to pull the strings.
While Brazil have yet to fully convince as they appear to be going through the gears, Coutinho has been the one key driving force from midfield to quicken the tempo and to look for a crucial breakthrough.
After netting against the Swiss, he found a late injury-time goal to break Costa Rica’s resolve, before then turning provider against Serbia with a brilliant pass to set Paulinho through to find the opening goal.
In turn, he has been absolutely pivotal and decisive to Tite thus far, and the Brazil coach will hoping that he can continue to deliver and emerge as their star man as Neymar still looks a little short of full fitness and sharpness.
Coutinho will be further buoyed by the fact that he has made a little bit of history too, as seen in the tweet below. With his two goals in the first two games and his assist against Serbia on Wednesday night, he has now become the first Brazilian since Pele in 1958 to record either a goal or an assist in his first three World Cup games.
It will undoubtedly hold more relevance if Brazil go on and win it and he continues to be decisive, but there’s no denying that Coutinho has impressed to this point and is certainly making Tite’s side tick.
— MisterChip (Alexis) (@2010MisterChip) June 27, 2018