Philippe Coutinho has finally arrived. After years of dreaming and hoping and waiting, the newest Brazilian wonder child has finally found his way to Inter's training grounds. This kid has been Inter's next great thing for two years -- he officially signed for Inter in 2008 but, at the tender age of 16, he was too young to come to Italy. Instead, he spent the last two years on loan at the Brazilian club, Vasco de Gama. Now he is 18 and ready to make his mark in the Serie A. Welcome aboard, Philippe.
Coutinho gave a little interview at his presentation today, and, since Inter's web page decided to only present the full interview in Italian (which is strangely different than what they posted on the English language page), I thought I might take the time to translate if for you all. I like Philipe already, he speaks the kind of Italian I can understand: short sentences with small words. So, here you go, Coutinho's coming out party:
Coutinho, how does it feel to be wearing the Nerazzurra jersey?
"I am very happy to be here, I hope I can win many titles here and I can give great satisfaction to Inter fans."
Can you tell us about these first days at Inter?
"I have spent these first few days in peace, there are other Brazilian players here so it's even easier for me, they are helping me a lot. And I will try to learn Italian as quickly as possible, something I already understand, although I speak it very slowly."
What type of player do you consider yourself? They say that in terms of field position, you take after Wesley Sneijder.
"I am a midfielder, I like to play in the midfield, behind the strikers. I like to attack. I resemble Sneijder? [smiling] If only; I would like that, and how."
How does it feel to play with men like Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, these Brazilian greats?
"It is a dream come true, these are players who I have always seen and admired on the TV, now I find myself side by side with them, it is truly a dream."
How does it feel to be compared to someone like Pato?
"Naturally I am flattered by this comparison, but in any case, we are two different players. I am a midfielder, Pato is more attacking."
Who is your inspiration? Who is your model?
"I am inspired by Sneijder. Of Brazilians? Champions like Robinho and Kakà."
There are many Brazilian players in Milan, some of whom get lost in the nightlife. What are your intentions in that regard?
"I dont like to go out much. I prefer to stay at home with my family, with my firends, and my girlfriend who I love very much. I like the quiet life."
Have you chosen your shirt number?
"No, not yet. We have not thought of that yet."
On a personal level, what is your objective this season?
"I would like to establish myself, I would like to become a well-known football player in Italy, I would like to demonstrate my qualities, with Inter first of all then one day with Brazil."
What did you think during the time before arriving at Inter? What feelings were you thinking about your future in nerazzurro?
"When I heard about Inter's interest two years ago I was very flattered. For me it was a dream to come to a great European club like Inter. When then the deal was completed, I couldn't wait to get here."
[this next one is my favorite question of the afternoon]
Was the hair cut your idea or did Rafael Benitez and Marco Branca make you?
"It was my idea, from time to time I cut it a little (laughing)."
There has been talk about the possibility of your returning to Brazil. Is that something you want to do? Have you already discussed this with the company?
"I want to stay here and get acclimatized as soon as possible, to connect myself with this group."
They talk about you for Brazil in 2014, as one of the possible foundations. How does that make you feel?
"First of all, I think about doing well with Inter which has givien me the opportunity to play here, in Serie A. Then the rest will come with time, we'll see. But I repeat that to be called up for the National team is my dream."
See, wasn't that adorable? He loves his girlfriend, he like the quite life, he wants to do well with Inter and make a name for himself in Italy then go on and play for Brazil. Oh, and sometimes he cuts his hair. Really, who let that guy into the presser, anyway? Good think I like stupid grooming questions. Now, if only he asked who cut his hair. That is what inquiring minds really want to know.
For those of you who prefer to get things straight from the horse's mouth, here is the presentation:
Holy cow but isn't he just adorable?
I cant wait to see the kid actually play.
Obligatory youtube skills video - this one begins in infancy, though: