Soccer experts compare Paulinho’s career to an ECG of a sick person: the sportsman either tops the lists of the most famous players or disappears somewhere. Despite rumors, Paulinho has achieved a lot in soccer. He played in his home country, Europe, and Asia; today, he is happy as a Barcelona member and keeps his fans informed about his life on his Instagram and Twitter pages.
Childhood and youth
José Paulo Bezerra Maciel Júnior was born on July 25, 1988, in the Brazilian city São Paulo. The boy took up sports at five when his parents took him to the five-a-side club. Portuguesa coaches noticed the young player’s first accomplishments and offered Paulinho to join their team.
At 11, the boy’s tastes changed: he took an interest in the classical soccer. He had discussed this issue with his parents and transferred to Pão de Açúcar (today, Audax).
As he achieved his goals, Paulinho remembered his parents welcomed his desire to play. Sometimes, the father had no money for fuel: the man gave all his finances to cover his son’s transport expenses. The boy’s mother worked as a supermarket administrator, and the father who should have retired continued to work in São Paulo prefecture.
In 2006, when Paulinho turned 17, the owners of Pão de Açúcar accepted the Lithuanian club Vilnius’s offer and sold the promising Brazilian player. By that moment, his height was 181 cm., and he weights 78 kg. The young man did not mind moving. The salary in the new team was completely different from what he had received before.
Just like in Brazil, Paulinho was the center midfielder in the Lithuanian club. However, the successful beginning was followed by the racial prejudice. After eight months, the young man got tired of listening to fans’ insulting and moved to Poland.
The Polish club Łódź was different: the team, coaches, and fans were happy to see the Brazilian as their member. Still, the sportsman had to leave the new club after 17 games: there were significant problems with the financing. The club owners did not pay the players their salary, and the young man came back to his home country.
The sportsman was in low spirits as he came back to Brazil; he decided to quit soccer for good. However, Pão de Açúcar coaches managed to persuade the midfielder to return.
In the next year, the player was improving his physical shape that had worsened while he was depressed; his pace of game was gradually increasing. Paulinho’s achievements were noticed: in 2009, Bragantino invited him to join their club, and Corinthians did the same the next year.
In September 2010, Paulinho debuted in the Brazil national team. Soccer clubs started hunting the player: CSKA and Inter made him offers, but the man rejected them. The Brazilian liked to work with the coach of Corinthians so that he would not accept other invitations no matter how beneficial new conditions were.
Three years later, Paulinho mastered his skills significantly and decided to leave the club. He selected Tottenham Hotspur: again, his choice was based on the personality of a coach. Paulinho wanted to collaborate with Villas-Boas.
Although the conditions were excellent, it was difficult for Paulinho to find common ground with the new team. He confessed there were some moments he was reluctant to leave his apartment – he was just looking for a reason to skip practice. As the sportsman realized he could not bring any good to the team and get on well with the coach, he asked for the transfer. The administration of Tottenham did not mind it.
Paulinho continued his career in China; the transfer cost was €14 million. While European fans treated him with disdain, Guangzhou Evergrande and fans made the Brazilian their favorite.
In 2017, Paulinho almost lost everything he was working on. Unaware of the Chinese laws, Paulinho appeared in the betting company ad together with the porn star Aoi Tsukasa (betting and porn are banned in the country).
Chinese Soccer Association insisted Paulinho should be deported from China, but the club saved the sportsman. Paulinho had to pay a fine and apologize publicly.
Soon after the incident, the son of the Corinthians former mentor Tite came to China to watch the midfielder’s play. After that visit, Paulinho was invited in the Brazil national team again.
During the friendly game against Argentina, Messi talked to Paulinho and offered to consider transferring to Barcelona. Paulinho’s friend Neymar supported that idea and told him privately this could make Paulinho happy.
Barcelona’s official offer followed soon. The transfer cost was € 40 million; Paulinho paid € 7.5 million himself. Although some Spanish fans were unsatisfied with that, the midfielder’s achievements in the new season silenced evil tongues.
When Paulinho was leaving the friendly Asian country, he demonstrated his incredible generosity: rumors had it he gave his driver his personal Mercedes-Benz and “Beats” headphones.
Paulinho does not like talking about his first relationship. He met the young woman whose name remains unknown at the age of 17. She accompanied the player in Lithuania and Poland; soon after they returned to Brazil, she gave birth to their daughter. In a while, the couple split up.
In 2011, the player married Barbara Cartaxo; in the same year, their daughter was born. In 2017, Barbara gave birth to the twins Zé Pedro and Sofia.
January 2018 began with the trauma of the fifth instep bone during the 1/4 Copa del Rey final against Espanyol. However, the injury was not serious.
In the same month, another Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić caused a funny accident with Paulinho. During the game with Betis, the Croatian player scored a goal while the coach was instructing the Brazilian. The man was puzzled by the unexpected outcome. Journalists managed to lip-read the coach’s words: he told Paulinho he had forgotten what he was going to say.
During the FIFA World Cup-2018 match against Serbia, Paulinho was named the best player of the game. With Philippe Coutinho’s assistance, he scored a goal and contributed to his national team’s victory: the score was 2:0.
At the beginning of July, Barcelona got an alluring proposal: some famous club whose name is not disclosed offers € 50 million for the sportsman’s transfer. The position of Barcelona’s administration is unknown.
- 2011 – Roca Cup
- 2011 – Silver Ball
- 2012 – Copa Libertadores
- 2013 – FIFA Confederations Cup Bronze Ball
- 2017/18 – Copa del Rey