Philippe Coutinho urges Brazil team-mates to start dreaming of Copa America Centenario final after hammering Haiti
- Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick for Brazil against Haiti
- Coutinho and Brazil beat Haiti 7-1 in Orlando after their draw with Ecuador
- Brazil face Peru in their next Copa America 2016 game on Monday
Philippe Coutinho issued a rallying cry to his Brazil team-mates after scoring a hat-trick in their 7-1 demolition of Haiti in the Copa America Centenario.
‘I think we have to dream big and think of the final,’ he said, following his finest performance in a Brazil shirt.
Coutinho netted a brilliant treble, including two strikes from distance, and was his country’s key player as they got their campaign back on track after a goalless draw with Ecuador.
Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring a goal against Haiti
Coutinho has told his Brazil team-mates to start dreaming of making the Copa America final
Two of Coutinho’s goals against Haiti were from distance as Brazil’s plan worked out
Coach Dunga was thrilled that the midfield star showed his club form on the international stage
He explained: ‘We have talked quite a lot to him about being the ‘Liverpool Coutinho’. Taking the initiative, being a leading part of the team, taking risks, all in his own style.
‘He is really taking advantage of the opportunities he has been given. After his first goal you could see him gain confidence and a player with confidence will always be better.’
Coutinho has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain in recent days but he brushed off speculation.
He said: ‘As far as I know there’s no offer. I’m here with my national team and that subject is for my representatives. More important for me is to be here, focused and having a good tournament, that’s where my head is at.’
Augusto celebrates his second goal of the evening and Brazil’s sixth after netting with four minutes left to play
Augusto (second from left) points to the sky after giving Brazil a three-goal advantage in Orlando
Meanwhile Filipe Luis, who played the ball to Coutinho before his first goal, likes working with the Liverpool midfielder on the left flank.
The Atletico Madrid full back observed: ‘I think he plays better close to their defensive line, because he can easily open them up with his dribbling skills. I’ve got to know him better and so I can help him. I think where he is playing on the left side is perfect.
‘He’s a brilliant, humble guy and I think he can achieve anything he wants because it’s only up to him. We are very honoured to play with him.’
Coutinho’s first and third goals were from outside the box and he says shooting from that range was part of the plan against Haiti after Brazil failed to score against Ecuador in their opening fixture.
‘We knew we had to try more shots from distance and this was something we improved on from the previous game,’ added Coutinho.