Paulinho Santos

Paulinho Santos

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Paulinho Santos

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João Paulo Maio dos Santos (born November 21, 1970 in Vila do Conde), best known as Paulinho Santos, is a retired Portuguese footballer, who played as a defensive midfielder.

Club career

Santos started playing with hometown Rio Ave FC, moving in 1992 to F.C. Porto, helping the latter (often in an instrumental role) to seven league titles and five domestic cups, having taken over from the player he idolized while growing up, António André - who had also played in Rio Ave.

In Porto, he and four others became the only players in the history of Portuguese football to win five consecutive league titles (1994–1999). When Porto won the 2003 UEFA Cup, Santos was already second-fiddle, and retired at the end of that season.

A player of aggressive approach, Santos often scuffled with Sport Lisboa e Benfica's João Vieira Pinto during his career: As a symbolic gesture, however, they exchanged shirts before Santos' last match, against Sporting Clube de Portugal (where Pinto was then playing), at Estádio das Antas, in June 2003.

Three years later, Santos began a coaching career, spending several years with Porto's various youth sides, mainly as an assistant.

International career

For Portugal, Santos received 30 international caps, scoring two goals (including a solo effort in a 1–1 away draw against Austria, on October 11, 1995). His first game was at 19 January 1994, in a 2–2 draw with Spain in Vigo, in a friendly match, and his last came on February 10, 1999, in a 0–0 draw...
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