Liverpool’s Coutinho never stops dreaming
Midfielder’s latest tattoo may prove prescient as Premier League season climaxes
Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates scoring in the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield last month. Liverpool host Manchester City tomorrow in a match that could decide this year’s Premier League title race. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
The new tattoo Philippe Coutinho commissioned this season suggests his foresight is not restricted to picking out a team-mate with a pass. “Never stop dreaming” are the words Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder has had inked on his left arm. With five matches of an enthralling title race to go, he has captured the mood at Anfield.
“I started the tattoo at the beginning of the season and have been getting it done since then,” said the 21-year-old.
“It was not meant about Liverpool – it is a sentence I like and it is a view I take for life – but of course now it fits with Liverpool and the situation we are in. As players we need to keep dreaming if we want to reach the objectives we have in mind.
“We know these final five matches will be decisive for us. We will fight and do our best on the pitch to achieve the objective of winning the league. Sunday is a very important game but all five of the matches that we have left are the same. We have to think about one step at a time. Manchester City is just the first step.”
Coutinho’s creativity has increased Liverpool’s attacking prowess this season but his dream double, a Premier League title and a role in a World Cup on home soil, appears remote under Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“It is a very special moment with Liverpool fighting for the title, and I still have hopes of playing for Brazil in the World Cup,” he added. “The famous saying in Brazil is “Brazilians never lose hope” and I still hope for the World Cup. This could be a very special two months for me.”
The former Internazionale midfielder counts Manchester City’s Fernandinho as a good friend but the pair have avoided contact before tomorrow’s potential title decider at Anfield.
“I might text him before the game and ask him to take it easy,” said Coutinho.
“City are a good side with really good players, especially from the middle going forwards, but so are we. The pressure might be on them more, but at Liverpool we are not thinking about pressure.
“We know that City were considered one of the favourites from the start and that they have a couple of games in hand but we are just trying to focus on one game at a time.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers shrugged off the strain of hunting down the club’s first league title in 24 years.
“People talk about pressure but for us it’s excitement,” said Rodgers, yesterday named Premier League Manager of the Month for March.
“I’m sleeping well. This is what we work for as coaches and managers. It gives me great joy to see how the players have embraced the ideas.
“It’s vitally important we stay calm against City. We showed that at West Ham last weekend. “The beauty for us is this game is at Anfield. It’s a special place. We will unleash our supporters.” –