Dani Alves has claimed that Brazil teammate Philippe Coutinho is playing just as well as compatriot Neymar.

By 90Min
March 27, 2018

Dani Alves has claimed that Brazil teammate Philippe Coutinho is playing just as well as compatriot Neymar.

The Selecao will play against Germany on Tuesday night for the first time since they were beaten 7-1 in their 2014 World Cup semifinal meeting in Brazil.

They will be without Neymar, injured while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, but Alves has stressed that Coutinho's quality will make up for the absence of his club teammate.

"I believe Coutinho is a player at the same level as Neymar, he has an incredible influence over our play and on our team," Alves said - quoted by the Daily Mail. "I felt this when he was at Liverpool and now at Barcelona.

"He has really come on and learned well and improved his decision-making. It is a genuine pleasure to play alongside a player at that level and with that profile. We are very privileged to have these players."

Brazil coach Tite, meanwhile, admitted that memories of the humiliation in Belo Horizonte will not be easily repressed.

"This has a huge psychological meaning - no one needs to fool themselves about that," he said. "The 7-1 from the World Cup is like a ghost. It won't just be a sporting challenge, but a huge emotional challenge too."

Alves added: "We cannot change the past, so we should make the future."

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