Coutinho’s influence hasn’t been limited to the scoresheet, either. So far this tournament he has taken the second-most shots on the team, created the second-most chances for his teammates to shoot, made more total passes than any other Brazilian, and of Seleção players that have started at least two games, Coutinho’s passing completion percentage is behind only the two center backs. Coutinho is on the ball all the time and is doing everything with it, all with impressive efficiency. He’s putting up the stats of a great forward from the central midfield position while also excelling at the traditional midfielder tasks. Coutinho is two great players in one, and it’s multifaceted greatness like that that wins World Cups.


This is what makes Brazil the team beat this summer. They have one of the best players ever to emerge from the best soccer nation in the world in his prime, and right behind them they have another world-beater ready to take over when necessary. Coutinho, more than any other single player, is the reason why Brazil are in the comfortable and commanding position they currently find themselves, and there’s no reason to think he can’t keep it up for as long as Brazil are still in it.

Not only that, but Neymar too is only looking better and better as the tournament continues. If Coutinho keeps up his game and Neymar gets back to his usual self, Brazil will have two superstars firing on all cylinders ready to crush all comers. There’s not a team in the world that wants to face a juggernaut like that.