We look at the Liverpool playmakers biggest competition for a spot in the Brazil team for next summer.
Philippe Coutinho is quite obviously an outstanding talent - the problem however is that he is from a nation that produces perhaps more enviable talent in the attacking midfield position than any other on the planet.
The Brazilian starlet has been in great form since arriving at Anfield from Inter Milan in January, with just a brief intermittence because of a dislocated shoulder breaking up that good form pattern.
Coutinho of course dreams of going to the World Cup next summer - especially as it is in his home country.
But he has just one cap for Selecao and he must be worried his chance won’t come.
“I still think there is plenty of time for me to try and be part of the team. It’s always going to be difficult because there are a lot of players who play in my position who have been given their chance and are playing very well, but there is a lot of football to be played before the World Cup … I have no idea if anyone is watching me from the Brazil national team but the best way to have a chance is to do well for Liverpool.”
But here are five players who could shatter his dream:
The tiny attacker has become a regular in the Luiz Felipe Scolari squad ever since leading Atletico Mineiro to the Copa Libertadores trophy.
He moved to Shakhtar Donetsk recently … but the manager insists that playing in Ukraine does not minimise his chances of playing for the national team.
Coutinho will certainly be unlikely to beat Bernard to the squad.
The former Manchester United target was recently dropped by Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil after some poor form.
The €45 million man has not been in the best of form recently, and Coutinho may fancy his chances of beating him to the squad.
The Chelsea man has recently scored his first goal for Selecao and it appears his move to Chelsea has had the desired effect.
However Liverpool fans would never admit that Coutinho is not as good as Willian - because he is certainly a better talent.
The AC Milan player also recently had a breakthrough with the team - recalled after an absence.
But he might not be in Scolari’s view if Coutinho can produce his best form.
A couple of months ago there was absolutely no chance that the veteran midfielder would make it into the squad.
However his switch back to AC Milan has rejuvenated his spirits and he is surely on Scolari’s mind going into what would be his last World Cup year.
image: © Dean Jones