William Carvalho celebrates his birthday today, the midfielder has turned 22 and will be able to look back on what has been an incredible period. This time last year Carvalho was on loan at Cercle Brugge in Belgium and there had been little to suggest that he'd soon be one of the most wanted footballers in Europe.
His parent club Sporting regularly struggle with financial restraints and that meant, at the beginning of the current season, several youngsters were given a chance to show what they could do. Carvalho got into the team and once there he didn't look back. He's now a certainty for Portugal's World Cup squad and should have a decent chance of starting for them, having only made his international debut in November.
Sporting have Carvalho on a contract with a buyout clause of €45m, which gives them some protection and an amount to start negotiations at. They have repeated, and will continue to do so, that Carvalho won't leave for a penny less. He probably will do.
His father Simão has spoken to Portuguese newspaper A Bola and given his son some open advice, insisting there's a lot more to come.
"I know you were born to win, but you must continue to push hard to get to the top. And to continue to respect everybody. The best is yet to come. I wish you all the luck in the world."
Manchester United's hopes of signing Carvalho may have taken a blow, his father would prefer the midfielder to move to Spain rather than England. A Bola asked a direct question, England or Spain, and Simão said "I'd like to see him in Spain."
Real Madrid and Barcelona are the choices put forward by Simão, and it's largely because he sees Ronaldo as 'King of Spain'. Carvalho could always follow Ronaldo's path and go to Manchester United first.