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“World class” former Liverpool star who Jurgen Klopp adored set to miss World Cup

Chris Byfield

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“World class” former Liverpool star who Jurgen Klopp adored set to miss World Cup

Former Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho is likely to miss the World Cup after having fallen out of favour with the Brazil hierarchy, according to reports.

Coutinho’s stuttering Aston Villa form has seen Brazil head coach Tite allegedly lose faith in the midfielder.

Instead, Tite is looking to take Flamengo veteran Everton Ribeiro and much-improved Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino to Qatar, according to Sport.

Coutinho signed for Liverpool nine years ago and flourished for the Reds.

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The Brazilian has been named in the PFA Team of the Year and was once even labelled by Klopp as a player “worthy of world class status”.

However when Coutinho signed for Barcelona for a club record €160million (£138million) in 2018, becoming the second most expensive player in history, his form began to unravel.

In January the former-Liverpool man joined Aston Villa on an initial season long loan from Barcelona to play under former Reds captain Steven Gerrard and revitalise his career.

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Flashes of excellence in the latter half of last term saw Villa commit to a permanent deal for Coutinho but his performances have since been lacklustre.

He has failed to register a goal or an assist in any of his 12 appearances for the Midlands club, while the team as whole has been woeful.

While the sacking of Gerrard’s and the arrival of Unai Emery at Villa Park may turn the club’s fortunes around, it is allegedly too little too late for Coutinho to force his way into the Brazil set up.

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It’s a bold move from the Brazil boss given Coutinho’s undoubted pedigree on the international stage.

The midfielder made his Brazil debut in 2010, and nine years later, was part of the team that won the Copa América on home soil.

He also featured in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored two goals and was named in the World Cup Dream Team.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Brazil, Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, Steven Gerrard, FIFA Club World Cup, Qatar

Chris Byfield
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