By Matt Farr
Liverpool attacking-midfield sensation Philippe Coutinho has pipped Brazilian team-mate Neymar to be named Europe’s best Brazilian player.
Coutinho’s displays for Liverpool this year have drawn great praise from both the media and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, and he has been rewarded for his efforts with the 2016 Samba Gold Award.
The award is voted for by journalists, players, former players and fans, and according to the Metro, 32 per cent of the vote was cast in the direction of the Merseyside-based 24-year-old.
Coutinho beat Neymar to the title of best Brazilian in Europe, despite the 24-year-old forward contributing six goals and 14 assists from 18 appearances for Barcelona this term.
The Liverpool man is currently out with an ankle injury, but prior to the setback, had contributed six goals and six assists from just 14 appearances in all competitions. The Brazil international netted a further seven goals in the second-half of last season.
He also netted goals against Argentina, Bolivia and Haiti (a hat-trick) whilst on international duty with Brazil to cap off what has been a fantastic year for Coutinho.
His Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino finished fifth in voting for the award, behind Real Madrid pair Casemiro and Marcelo.
On current-form, Coutinho is no doubt one of the best players in Europe, and Liverpool will be determined to retain his services through his best years.
European giants Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have both shown an interest in signing Coutinho, and Liverpool will have a fight on their hands to fight off the competition.
Coutinho is back in training ahead of Liverpool’s title clash with rivals Manchester City on Saturday, but is not expected to make his return until the new year, as he is not yet back to full fitness.
In other Liverpool news, Divock Origi has made this admission about his development under Jurgen Klopp.