Inter Milan’s Brazilian teenage talent Coutinho has pleaded not to be dubbed the new Ronaldinho as he begins his Italian adventure.
Coutinho has been much hyped in Italy since Inter bought him two years ago from Vasco da Gama when he was just 16.
He remained in Brazil until this season as Italian league rules stipulate that a foreigner cannot play for an Italian team until he has turned 18.
And as Coutinho plays in a similar ‘trequartista’ position between forwards and midfielders, the comparisons with AC Milan’s Ronaldinho were inevitable.
But Coutinho wants to nip those in the bud straight away.
“I’m just Coutinho, a kid who’s getting better. Ronaldinho is an extra-terrestrial who’s won everything,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is football. If we have a similarity it’s maybe that we like to start on the left and head for goal.
“But please don’t get us confused. I’d be happy to achieve half of his success.”
But while Coutinho is star-struck by his compatriot, he is also highly impressed by one of his own club team-mates: Wesley Sneijder.
“He deserves the Golden Ball, I watch him in training and I’m enchanted, he’s a legend.
“I’m trying to steal his secret, his speed of thought. His head flies, he sees things before the ball arrives. I need to be quick like Sniejder.”
As for the future, Coutinho is hoping to form part of an attacking trident in the Brazil team to rival the great Ronaldo-Ronaldinho-Rivaldo combination that guided the Selecao to the World Cup in 2002.
Coutinho, Milan’s Pato and Neymar of Santos are three youngsters for whom Brazil has high hopes.
“It would be a great trident but as for a central striker, pay attention to Andre at Dynamo Kiev.
“And you’re forgetting Robinho, another phenomenon. Milan have made a great signing there.”
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