Once upon a time — Philippe Coutinho was a rising star for the Brazil national team. His playmaking ability already apparent, the 16-year-old midfielder raised eyebrows with a stellar performance for his country's Under-17 national team at the 2008 Mediterranean International Cup, which Brazil won.
Two years later, Coutinho got his first taste of FC Barcelona — not as one of its players, but as an opponent. As an 18-year-old, the Rio de Janeiro native was picked for Brazil's senior national team to play in a friendly against Barça B at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper — where Coutinho will now train daily with his new blaugrana teammates.
The Barça B–Brazil friendly featured a bevy of international stars. Coutinho was joined on that Brazil squad by big names like Dani Alves, Adriano, Robinho, David Luiz, Pato, Fernandinho, and Thiago Silva. The Barça B side that day featured current first team player, Rafinha.