Not many footballers who start their career at a club owned by a supermarket can one day claim to have played an integral parting in helping the Seleção win a trophy and have an opportunity to play at one of the top clubs in England.

But that is exactly what has happened with Paulinho or José Paulo Bezerra Maciel Júnior, to give him his full name. 

From the streets of Sao Paulo to dizzying heights of Spurs, his journey is one, which is filled with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel.

After struggling to break into the first team at Pão de Açúcar as a central midfielder, Pauliho moved to Europe.

He started his playing career when he joined the youth team and then went on to play for FC Vilnius in Lithuania aged just 17. 

After a moderately successful time at the club, where he played almost 40 games and scored five goals in his first year of European football, he moved to Polish side LKS Lodz.

His second year in European football, was one in which he had to endure the pain of not only playing in an unfamiliar right-back position, but also had to endure monkey chants from rival supporters. 

Fans were even throwing various objects at him in what was, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst spell of his career till date.

Unable to endure any longer, he moved back to the comforts of Brazil where he once again joined his first club.

After a successful year at the club, in 2009, he moved to Italy, his second stint in Europe, to play for Bragantino in Serie B. 

It was here, that he caught the eye of Sao Paolo giants Corinthians, where he moved to, first on loan, then permanently in 2010.

At Corinthians, Paulinho rose to the peak of his powers and came into the limelight, with his ability to both win the ball and distribute it efficiently. 

It was here that he won his first major trophy as he lifted the Campeonato Brasileirão in 2011.

In the following year, he played a crucial part in helping his side win the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Cup in Japan, beating Chelsea and cementing his place in the club folklore.

And very recently, according to a poll conducted by a local newspaper, he was voted the greatest midfielder in the history of Corinthians.

As he finally completes his protracted move to Tottenham, English football will bear witness to one of the best Brazilian midfielders of his generation. 

A physically imposing player with an eye for goal, Paulinho has all the makings of a complete modern midfielder and should feel right at home in the Premier League.


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