Joao, where does this science of the perfect pass come from?
It's my style, I was always more of a passer than a goal scorer. I do like scoring goals because the joy is intense, but providing a good pass for a goal is also a source of pleasure and satisfaction. At the end of the day, the main thing is to bring something positive to the team, to help them win and be decisive.
You love playing strategy games, is there a link between that and your position on the pitch?
It's hard to say, but it's true I love playing in my position because it lets me be where the action is. You have to be able to analyse things well. Before I receive a pass, I always look to see what options I have with my teammates to make things happen. That's football, and when you play well, generally you win. To play better, you have think faster than the others. That's what I try to do.
There seems to be Joao the strategist and Moutinho the warrior. You are one of the Ligue 1 players that tackles the most... do you love that part of the game?
I love it if it means I get the ball back! I like having the ball, to think about the play for the good of the team, but when I have to defend, run to win back possession and tackle, then I do it with all my force, upright, or tackling if necessary. Being decisive in a football match is not only when you have the ball, but also when you don't. To control an opponent, you have to control both if these moments, that the key to a match of football. If you have control, there's a good chance you can win. Sometimes, you have to force one of these aspects of the game, depending on the situation. That's why you have to stay focused and adapt as well as possible to the demands of any given match!