LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 24, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Hull City with team-mate Sadio Mane during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Philippe Coutinho voted best Brazilian player in Europe for 2016

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been voted by fans, journalists and players as the best Brazilian in Europe for 2016.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed an exceptional year, rising to the fore for both club and country, though particularly under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Coutinho helped the Reds to finals in the Europa League and the League Cup last season, and has begun 2016/17 in style, scoring six and assisting six in 14 games.

For his country, Coutinho recently starred in a 3-0 victory over Brazil’s rivals, Argentina, joining the likes of Neymar Jr. and Gabriel Jesus in Tite’s renewed attacking force.

This has led to Coutinho being awarded the Samba d’Or for 2016, for the first time in his career.

Journalists from the likes of ESPN, BeIN Sports and Sky Italia, current and former players such as Oscar and Juninho and an open group of supporters all voted for their top Selecao star.

Coutinho won 32.13 percent of the vote, beating Barcelona’s Neymar (27.88%) and Real Madrid’s Casemiro (13.35%) in the top three.

There is a sharp drop-off in votes outside that trio, but Coutinho’s Reds team-mate Roberto Firmino comes in fifth, with 6.25 percent.

However, it is perhaps telling that Neymar led both the journalists’ and the players’ vote, while Coutinho’s success came primarily from internet voters, receiving 45.60 percent of their backing.

Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game with Philippe Coutinho (right) against Watford. Nov 6 2016. (Picture by Dave Howarth PA Wire/PA Images)

Nevertheless, Coutinho has certainly deserved recognition in 2016, with his absence with an ankle injury at present serving as a major blow to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Coutinho is believed to be on the radar of a host of Europe’s top clubs, most prominently Barcelona.

But it will be Klopp and the Reds’ hierarchy’s task to convince Coutinho that he should remain at Liverpool long into the future—with his “best friend,” Firmino, a prime example.

Speaking earlier in December, Firmino committed his long-term future to Liverpool.

“Being really honest, I love it here and plan to stay for many years in the future,” he explained, “as the Premier League is really competitive and tests you all the time.”

Coutinho and Firmino enjoy a fruitful understanding on the pitch, and as two of the best Brazilian players in Europe, Klopp will be eager to keep it that way for years to come.

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