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Who is Otavio? Unheralded Portugal midfielder makes difference vs Turkey in World Cup play-off

21:09 GMT 24/03/2022
Otavio Portugal Turkey 2022
The Brazil-born Porto ace contributed a goal and assist to give Portugal the perfect start in Thursday's crunch match

The whole of Portugal looked towards Cristiano Ronaldo to be the nation's saviour on Thursday - but ultimately a rather less famous name came to the fore in their World Cup qualifying play-off against Turkey.

Otavio came up with a goal and assist in the first half to put his side firmly in the driving seat.

But who is the midfielder that has helped Portugal take a giant step towards Qatar 2022? GOAL takes a look.

Who is Otavio?

While he has chosen to represent Portugal at international level Otavio is in fact Brazilian by birth, hailing from Joao Pessoa in the nation's north-eastern region.

The 27-year-old got his start in the game under ex-World Cup winning Selecao captain Dunga at Internacional and lifted two Gaucho state championships before moving to Porto in 2014.

He has proved to be a solid performer for the Portuguese giants, with whom he has won two league titles and played over 200 appearances in all competitions.

Why does he play for Portugal?

Otavio represented his birth nation Brazil at Under-20 level but, in March 2021, took up Portuguese citizenship in order to switch his international allegiance.

His first cap came in September of the same year and he marked it with a goal in a 3-1 friendly defeat of Qatar.

The midfielder's only other appearance was a short cameo off the bench during victory over Azerbaijan, which made him a surprise inclusion in Fernando Santos' starting line-up on Thursday.

But Otavio more than justified his presence by opening the scoring and then laying on a goal for Diogo Jota's to send Portugal into the break 2-0 and in a commanding position.

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