Philippe Coutinho's Brazil omission stuns Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Last Updated: 16/08/15 11:12pm
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he was "surprised" to see midfielder Philippe Coutinho left out of Brazil’s squad for their upcoming international friendlies.
Coutinho scored a stunning goal to earn Liverpool victory at Stoke last weekend and Rodgers had expected him to be named in Dunga’s Brazil squad for the upcoming matches with Costa Rica and United States.
The 23-year-old, however, has been dropped in favour of veteran Kaka - currently of MLS side Orlando City - despite playing at this summer’s Copa America in Chile.
Coutinho has provided many of Liverpool's genuine touches of quality over a difficult 12 months for the club and Rodgers was stunned by the snub from his country.
"I was very surprised. With everything I had seen last season, with the changes in the squad, he was going to be one of the flagship players for the new dawn of Brazilian football," he said.
"It is hard to understand. He made team of the season in the hardest league in the world, how he cannot be in the squad is incredible really.
"I spoke to him at length on Friday about it and of course he is disappointed but his only focus is on Liverpool.
I was very surprised. With everything I had seen last season, with the changes in the squad, he was going to be one of the flagship players for the new dawn of Brazilian football
"He is a really humble boy, a proud man for his country, so I am sure he will pick up the form he has shown over the last 18 months and I am sure it will not be long before he is back in it."
Coutinho scored eight times last season, including spectacular goals against Southampton, Manchester City and Bolton, and provided the guile in Liverpool's attack following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
Following a promising start to the new campaign, Rodgers knows there is more to come from Coutinho.
"It is just about consistency. We have started to see that in his game," he added.
"He is also the type of player whose numbers will be important: it is about creating and scoring goals - that is the level he is working to get to.
"You saw last week towards the end of the game he has that magic which can win you a game out of nothing and we have seen over time here how he has adjusted to life at this level.
"He is only going to get better."