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Everton & Spurs threatened Moutinho's dream before Wolves brought it to life

18:20 GMT+3 06/04/2019
Joao Moutinho Wolves 2018-19
The Portuguese playmaker had always hoped to play in the Premier League, but was forced to wait longer than he had hoped before getting a move

Joao Moutinho has admitted he missed out on the opportunity to previously play for Everton and Tottenham, but has since fulfilled his dream by linking up with Wolves and playing in the Premier League.

The Portuguese playmaker finally arrived in English football during the summer transfer window of 2018.

He could have taken on such a challenge 10 years earlier, with David Moyes having expressed an interest in taking him to Goodison Park during the midfielder's time at Sporting.

Then in 2012, while Moutinho was on the books at Porto, his fellow countryman Andre Villas-Boas wanted a talented midfielder in north London.

Nothing came of that interest, meaning Moutinho had to wait until the age of 31 before achieving his career-long ambition.

The Wolves man told The Telegraph: “Since I started playing as a professional, I have wanted to play in England.

“I could have joined Everton or Tottenham before, but things didn't work out well to come over here.

“The Premier League is the best in the world. It is fascinating because of all the teams, the atmosphere and stadiums.

“The football is of course a little more aggressive, there is more contact but I like this. I am small and sometimes I don’t go to the contact but the players need to be intelligent and know what they can and can’t do.”

Moutinho has slotted seamlessly into Nuno Espirito Santo's ball-playing Wolves side, helping them to a lofty standing in the Premier League and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

He will turn 33 in September but appears to be getting better with age and believes he has many more productive years ahead of him.

The Euro 2016 winner added on his future: “If I get rid of the beard I am 22! I like to joke around a lot. We enjoy what we do and, for me, playing football is the best work in the world.

“I don't know how many players or boys want to be in my position. I try to live my life with happiness and with a smile on my face. I try to do my best.

“Do I think about the future?  If I can do another 20 years, I would do 20 years, but I'm sure it's not possible.

“When I feel that the club wants me, and has a good project, that is what gives me a lot of energy to continue.”