Coutinho wins Samba Gold award ahead of Neyamr

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has won the 2016 Samba Gold award for the best Brazilian player in Europe, beating Neymar and Casemiro to the trophy.

The attacking midfielder received 32.13 per cent of the vote in a combined poll of journalists, current and ex-professionals and supporters.

Coutinho netted 13 times for Liverpool in a successful calendar year, while also impressing for Brazil’s national team.

The 24-year-old’s victory prevented Neymar from making it three in a row, the Barcelona striker having claimed the award in both 2014 and 2015.

Neymar had to settle for second place this year with 27.88 per cent of the vote, despite winning LaLiga with Barca and guiding Brazil to a first-ever Olympic football gold.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro completed the top three with 13.35 per cent after winning the Champions League and the Club World Cup this year.

His Madrid team-mate Marcelo came fourth, while Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino was fifth.

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