Wolves' Joao Moutinho loving his Premier League life

Joao Moutinho believes he has made a seamless transition to Premier League life with Wolves because of the help of his Portuguese team-mates.

Midfielder Joao Moutinho has made a seamless transition to English football with Wolves. Picture: AMA
Midfielder Joao Moutinho has made a seamless transition to English football with Wolves. Picture: AMA

History suggests it can take a while for foreign players to adjust to the pace and the quality of the division.

Thirty-two-year-old Moutinho, though, has appeared ever-so comfortable alongside compatriot Ruben Neves in midfield.

And he says his fellow countrymen – Diogo Jota, Helder Costa and Rui Patricio being just a few others at the club – are making being at Molineux ‘easy’ for him.

“I like English football and there are Portuguese people here,” said Moutinho.

“A lot of players are Portuguese or speak Portuguese and it’s good. It’s easy to be at this club.”

Another thing that has helped Moutinho, of course, is the experience of top-level football he already had.

Three Portuguese Premier titles with Porto, a French top-flight crown with Monaco and a Euro 2016 triumph with Portugal are stunning achievements – but, for Moutinho, the Premier League is where you have to prove yourself.

“The Premier League, for me, is the best league in the world,” he said.

“All the players want to play in the best league and the Premier League is the best.

“The game never stops, the rhythm is good – it’s fast.

“That’s good. I’ve played with this kind of style and maybe that’s why I suit it.

“This league you play fast, one or two touch.

“It’s aggressive, but not like you’re going to hurt someone.

“The players don’t go for the leg, they go for the ball.”

As well as the relentless style of play, another thing that has really struck Moutinho is the fantastic atmosphere at games, especially at Molineux.

His focus is on giving fans what they want to see – free-flowing football that breeds results

“It’s different. The atmosphere of the Premier League, every stadium is full,” said Moutinho.

“For me, it’s very important that the people love the football.

“I like to have possession of the ball, to control the game.

“I want to give these people the best I can, to give the people what they want.”

If you did not know his background and had watched Sunday’s 1-0 win against Burnley, it would have been fair to suspect Moutinho had played in the Premier League for several years.

And if not for putting pen to paper a couple of minutes late in 2012, that could well have turned out to be the case.

“Andre Villas-Boas was my coach at Porto and when he was at Tottenham, it was very close,” he added.

“I signed, but after the deadline. It was one or two minutes, it was over.

"The most important thing is that I’m here now and I’m happy to help the team to achieve their goals.”

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