When Mehdi Taremi missed an absolute sitter in the dying seconds of a 2018 World Cup 1-1 draw against Portugal, no one thought the Iranian striker would one day take the stage by storm in the European country.
Three years on, the 28-year-old is probably the most talked-about foreign player in Primeira Liga, after a memorable debut season in Porto saw Taremi score 23 goals, coupled with 18 assists, across all competitions for the most decorated Portuguese club in history.
To sum up a glittering campaign for Taremi, Portuguese website GoalPoint named Iranian international as the Player of the Month for the second time this season after he scored four and made five assists in the last five league games.
Meanwhile, 16 league goals saw SofaScore pick Taremi in the Team of the Season.
From a regular second-choice striker for manager Sergio Conceicao earlier in the season, former Rio Ave player went on to lead the frontline for Porto in the biggest stage of European club competition, where he became the first Iranian to get on the scoresheet at the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League.
A first-leg goal by Taremi led Porto to an aggregate victory over Serie A giant Juventus in the last-16 round, before his superb overhead strike against Chelsea won global applause as a contender for FIFA Puskas Award.
Next for Taremi, who once blew the chance to become a national hero in the World Cup, is the Asian qualifiers of the international football showcase in June, when Iran will be facing a tough task to overcome Iraq and Bahrain in booking a place in the last round of qualifiers.