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Philippe Coutinho Axed for Kaka in Brazil Squad for Costa Rica, USA Friendlies

Published by Bleacher Report on Thu, 13 Aug 2015

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has been omitted from the Brazil squad that will face Costa Rica and the United States in September, with 33-year-old Selecao veteran Kaka taking his place. The Brazilian Football Confederation's official Twitter account confirmed the 24-man squad on Thursday (tweet in Portuguese). TheGuardian's Rupert Fryer quoted national team managerDunga, who attempted to justify his selection:The news come just days after Coutinho struck a magnificent, long-range winner for the Reds in their 1-0 victory against Stoke City to open Liverpool's Premier League campaign in triumphant fashion.Ironically, the 23-year-old's form was recently praised by none other than Kaka, per the official Liverpool Twitter account, where the Orlando City playmaker projected Coutinho "can be a very important player for Brazil":It leads one to question what Coutinho must do in order to gain prominence among the national team. His form at the Copa America may not have inspired, but one might be inclined to agree many within the Brazil squad were similarly disappointing.Earlier this year, it was reported that Nike and other sponsors of the Brazil national team would undergo investigation for alleged corruption and dabbling in matters beyond their authority, per Reuters (h/tDaily Mail).South American football writer Tim Stillman notes that when asked whether Kaka's selection was related to "image reasons," Dunga was "unconvincing" in his reply:After showing so much potential early in his career, Coutinho is finally hitting the heights once expected of him after a murky period in his career that saw him loaned from Internazionale to Vasco da Gama and Espanyol.Even a lead role at Anfield doesn't seem sufficient enough to cement the playmaker's place in the Selecao, with Kaka poised to earn his 90th international cap, whileCoutinho remains stuck on 13, per Soccerway.
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