By Emma Sanders

Philippe Coutinho claims his friendship with Chelsea star Willian is an ‘important’ one and there are no hard feelings between the two.

Liverpool’s ‘little magician’ was chosen ahead of Willian for Brazil’s clash against Bolivia on the weekend.

Coutinho capped off an impressive performance with a goal as his side thumped their opponents 5-0.

Brazil’s head coach, Tite, opted to use the Liverpool midfielder, who has been in superb form recently, at the expense of the Chelsea star.

However, Coutinho said his Brazilian teammate was one of the first to congratulate him immediately after scoring his goal.

The Liverpool Echo reports Coutinho said it was a ‘privilege’ to be involved with the Brazil squad and there was a real sense of unity amongst his teammates.

“We did not talk about it a lot, but when I scored Willian was the first to come and congratulate me – that shows how important our friendship is,” Coutinho said.

“A lot happens in football. Things happen quickly. It’s a healthy dispute, one taking place in a united group.

“We all have to be an option. I do not know if I will continue to play. I have the opportunity right now, and will give my best.

“Being in the group is a privilege for me, as is playing alongside Willian.”

Coutinho was overlooked for Brazil during Tite’s first two games in charge but the 24 year-old has made a bright start to the season with Liverpool.

Under Jurgen Klopp, the 24 year-old has already bagged three goals and two assists this season in just seven games.

Chelsea midfielder, Willian was selected ahead of Coutinho for Brazil’s clashes against Ecuador and Colombia but Coutinho came off the bench on both occasions and impressed.

Willian’s Chelsea side have been up and down in the new Premier League campaign and that may also have been a factor in Tite’s decision to select Coutinho.

In other Liverpool news, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho’s relationship off the pitch has led to harmony on it.