Liverpool and Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho talks to FourFourTwo about his dribbling technique and the secret to unlocking defences.
You’re pretty nifty at beating defenders, so tell us: how do you do it?
“I always try to be quick in possession, whether that’s running with the ball, playing a quick pass or trying a trick. I often use my body to hide the ball and this is one of the things that I enjoy doing the most when I’m playing. I really like to dribble and that’s my role in the team. I try to find spaces for my team-mates.”
You have a very fluid dribbling style; do you know where this comes from?
“Brazilian football has a unique style; we have happiness in our game. If you look the style of Brazilian players, they always want to dribble. This style is something that I always want to be part of my game. These are our natural movements from Brazil and I guess I developed it as a child when I was learning how to play the game.”
With Brazil having produced so many great creative players – who did you love watching when you were young?
“There are so many to mention but the best player I have ever seen is Ronaldinho. I would have loved to have played with him. He could do incredible things with the ball and always played with such freedom on the pitch. He was such an unpredictable player – defenders hate facing those players.“
You often use your studs to control the ball with your first touch – why?
“It’s something i’ve done from a young age. All players need to develop good control in the final third of the pitch, but for attacking players it’s even more important: if we lose the ball then the team could be hit by a counter-attack and conced. A good way to perfect your control is to practise receiving and passing the ball in a tiny area. This will help you to think much faster and improve your feel for the ball.”
Philippe Coutinho wears the Nike Mercurial Vapor