Inter Milan unveil Brazilian wonderkid Philippe Coutinho

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
rafael benitez

rafael benitez

Inter Milan have confirmed the signing of Brazilian teenager Philippe Coutinho for a fee in the region of €3.8 million.

The 18-year-old was purchased from Vasco da Gama last summer but former Inter manager José Mourinho allowed the youngster to stay in Brazil on a year-long loan.

At his official unveiling today, Inter’s new head coach Rafael Benítez hailed Coutinho as the future of the Nerazzurri.

“He has many qualities, we’re expecting him to do well straightaway,” said Benítez. “He can be the future of Inter.”

Coutinho spoke of his excitement at signing for the prestigious Milanese club. Experienced professionals at the San Siro such as club captain Javier Zanetti and compatriot Lucio will be expected to help the youngster settle in Italy.

“I want to learn Italian fast and settle down as quickly as possible,” said a determined Coutinho. “I’m a new face in Italian football so I have to show what I can do.”

Coutinho is equally able across all offensive midfield areas. His eye-catching performances for Brazil’s U-17 squad led La Gazzetta dello Sport to name him as one of the most exciting prospects in world football.

“My position? I’m a midfielder. I like to play behind the strikers and attack, so yes, I’m a bit like Sneijder,” he said.

Comparisons have inevitably been drawn between AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato and Inter’s new protégé, but Coutinho insists he is a different type of player to Pato.

“The comparisons with Pato? It’s flattering, but we’re two different players. He’s a striker, I’m more a midfielder.”

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