Born in Algarve in 1986, Joao Moutinho was picked up by Sporting Lisbon scouts after demonstrating great promise for his hometown club Portimonense.
His restless on-field presence was duly rewarded, earning him a brief call-up as part of Sporting’s starting eleven. Although he later returned to the junior team with the likes of Nani and Miguel Veloso, his versatility in diamond-shaped formations caught the eye of many of Portugal’s top clubs.
Moutinho moved northwards to join bitter rivals Porto in 2010, cementing himself as a regular starter. During his first season with Porto, the club secured league honours and also went on to clinch an impressive European treble in 2011.
2013 proved the year of his departure along with teammate James Rodriguez, as the two Porto stars left the club to join Monaco where Moutinho still features to this day.
For the Seleção, he featured in Portugal’s historic Euro 2016 triumph in July.
More sporting icons’ birthdays on this day:
1952: Graham Mourie, All Black flanker and coach of the Hurricanes.
1989: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Icelandic midfielder who features for Swansea. Deadly set-piece taker.
1990: Matthew Dellavedova, Australian international who plays in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.
1995: Ellie Black, Canadian gymnast who was crowned 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Pan American Games beam champion
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