Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that Philippe Coutinho may now be glad to have missed out on the Brazil squad during the summer's World Cup.
Coutinho was overlooked by then Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari as the host nation ended up getting to the semi-final stages of the competition, only to be humiliated by eventual winners Germany, and then the Netherlands in the third-place playoff.
Rodgers has backed Coutinho to be a star for his country in the future, but is glad to have seen him return in good physical condition, which has allowed him to play in nearly all of the pre-season matches so far this summer.
The Liverpool boss is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “Philippe will probably be glad now he didn't make the World Cup squad.
“I can only gauge it on how he was mentally and physically coming back. He came back with a great level of fitness - right on the limit of his weight.
“He's in great condition, he clearly worked hard in the off season and since he's come back we've seen in the games how strong and aggressive he is.
“He's 22 and hopefully by the time the next World Cup comes around he will be an important part of the Brazil team I'm sure his best years will be at Liverpool.”
So far it looks as though Coutinho would fit into a side midway through the season rather than a team that is just gearing up for the start of a campaign.
He looks fresh and a player capable of spells of playing three games a week which will be crucial for the side this season. The summer rest will probably mean the 22-year-old won't be as fatigued over the course of the season as some other players who participated in the World Cup may prove to be.