Philippe Coutinho Relishing Anfield Return, Brazil Star Says

Wendy Jensen
June 4, 2018

The most expensive player in the world has been sidelined since February 25, when he fractured a metatarsal and sprained his ankle playing for Paris Saint-Germain in a French league match against Olympique de Marseille.

Brazil's striker Roberto Firmino (R) celebrates with Brazil's striker Neymar after scoring their second goal during the worldwide friendly football match between Brazil and Croatia at Anfield in Liverpool on 3 June 2018.

Liverpool icon Kenny Dalglish has urged fans not to boo Philippe Coutinho when he returns to Anfield on Sunday.

After his foot surgery in Brazil and with his status for Russian Federation 2018 up in the air, Neymar left no doubts that he's ready to go.

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Before Neymar's brilliant opener, Croatia might have struck first when Ante Rebic's header forced a fine save from Alisson.

Brazil coach Tite brought on Neymar for Fernandinho at the break as he stepped up his recovery from a foot injury. I expected much less of him because it is a gradual process.

However, with the game already in injury-time, Firmino showed tremendous composure in finishing off a late goal in the stadium that he frequents so regularly with Liverpool.

He quickly made his mark and raised the hopes of Brazilian fans for the World Cup, which starts June 14.

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While many expect Brazil to be one of the favourites for the forthcoming World Cup, Croatia may have announced themselves as a dark horse - despite ultimately losing the match.

"Neymar is going to have ups and downs like he had in training until the third, fourth game (on his return)".

Coutinho also tried to leave Liverpool for Barcelona last summer, but the Reds held on to him for a further six months.

It was a moment of high quality largely out of keeping with a drab game and lifted Brazil, whose passing found an extra gear in the aftermath.

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