Mauricio Pochettino: 'Philippe Coutinho is like Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi'

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino prior to his teams match with Everton on January 21, 2013
© AP Photos
Mauricio Pochettino believes that Phillipe Coutinho plays a similar style of football to Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho.

Mauricio Pochettino has likened Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho to Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

The Southampton manager believes that the Brazilian has a similar skill set to the two-time world player of the year and the current holder of the Ballon d'Or.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's trip to St Mary's this weekend, Pochettino told reporters: "Philippe is a Brazilian player and, as it happens with most Brazilians, he has a special magic in his feet.

"Aside from the magic that he has, he also has an amazing work-rate and that makes us doubt whether he fits the mould of a typical Brazilian player or a European one because his work ethic is outstanding.

"I do think Coutinho has that same quality that Ronaldinho and Messi have, but he has much to prove yet. What is really clear to me is that Coutinho is a really responsible player, really dedicated and responsible to his own players."

Coutinho joined Liverpool during the January transfer window.

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