This past Sunday, Philippe Coutinho’s wonder strike against Southampton won BBC Match Of The Day’s Goal of the Month competition by an unprecedented margin. It was a low point in a year defined by abject despair. It made the uploading of his goal against Manchester City to PornHub look like a tastless joke.
— Ric Mann (@ricmann1977) March 2, 2015
As tempted as you and everyone alive in the month of February would be to hail this as a good thing, it is not as straightforward as it seems. Coutinho has been diagnosed with a very serious condition. He cannot score an average goal.
Formally known as Sneijder Syndrome, this terrible condition effects 1 in every 10,000 professional players. Once afflicted, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of, and we are afraid to say that Coutinho has been showing symptoms for quite some time. The first of which came at the very end of Liverpool’s 2012/13 campaign. And when we say the very end, we mean the very, very last game.
Amazing Goal #1 (5/19/2013)
Nothing to lose sleep over right? That’s just an lone amazing goal, the perfect way to end a season, and that’s all it was for a while.
It wasn’t until November of that year, over 6 months later, that Coutinho scored his next goals. One against Everton. One against Manchester City. Both were thoroughly average. These were the kinds of goals a doctor would recommend to those with unstable heart conditions.
Average Goal #1 (11/23/2013)
Average Goal #2 (12/26/2013)
There was no reason at this point to think that Coutinho would suddenly be crippled by his own magnificence. At this time, Sneijder Syndrome was a possibility not worth contemplating, and that goal against QPR was a fading memory.
Things took a tragic turn for the worse in February of 2014, when he scored this sweet weak-footed curler against Fulham. This was his second amazing goal out of the past four he had scored, and the aberrance that signaled danger to the medical community.
Amazing Goal #2 (2/12/2014)
We were concerned, but we never, ever could have imagined how bad things would get.
There was Tottenham…
Amazing Goal #3 (3/30/2014)
…and then Manchester City.
Amazing Goal #4 (4/13/2014)
That goal was scored in the biggest game of the year. By this point, we realized just how entrenched this case of Sneijder Syndrome was. From a purely medical standpoint, we were completely helpless. All we could do was watch as his condition wreaked havoc again, and again.
Here he is again against QPR, beating a man, and then sending the ball through a defender's legs and into the side netting:
Amazing goal #5 (10/19/2014)
Here he is embarrassing Arsenal.
Amazing Goal #6 (12/21/2014)
And here he is hitting rock bottom: in the span of a month, he scored three of the best goals we have ever seen.
Amazing Goal #7 (2/4/2015)
Amazing Goal #8 (2/22/2015)
Amazing Goal #9 (3/1/2015)
As mentioned before, this last goal has led to the objectification of Coutinho's condition. Some soulless individual has uploaded a video of it to PornHub, and now the depraved masses can look on in titillation as the ball curls into the back of the net over, and over, and over again.
We would like to say that Coutinho will make a full recovery, that he’ll go back to be an average 22-year-old footballer and live normally ever after, but we can’t. Sneijder Syndrome is cruel. More likely than not, it will relegate him to creating individual pieces of brilliance for the rest of his life. All we can do is hope that the next time he does score an amazing goal, it isn’t against our team.