Paulinho Breaks Impressive La Liga Record For Barcelona
When Paulinho moved from the Chinese Super League to Barcelona in the summer most of us would of had the news down as from a parody account. However the Brazilian has proved everyone wrong and now broken a La Liga record.
Paulinho was one of the players that Spurs signed from the money that saw Gareth Bale move to Spain. Like most of the players that the money was used for the Brazilian midfielder didn't really work out in the Premier League.
He was good for a short time but soon found his form waning and his place in the side gone. He was then sold to the Chinese Super League, normally a great payday but the death knell for a career.
However time in China with Guangzhou Everglade actually saw him make great strides, especially for the national team, and he earned himself a move to Barcelona in the summer and he's done fantastically.
In 14 Liga starts he's scored eight goals and made two for teammates and some of those have been important goals. And after the Eibar match yesterday Paulinho broke a very impressive record:
Paulinho's been so good that despite him being able to play against Chelsea in midweek and fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho being cup tied it was still the former Spurs man who played with the former Liverpool player on the bench.
It is genuinely incredible how the 29 year-old has been able to turn everything around and no one would have expected him to be so influential when he made the move. He's still got the World Cup to continue to impress later this year too.
Paulinho Reveals How Lionel Messi Made Him Too Nervous To Take A Free Kick
We were all taken by surprise when Paulinho was first linked with a move to Barcelona and shock when it actually happened. However Lionel Messi was pretty sure it would happen and used that confidence to make his new teammate nervous.
It goes without saying that the Paulinho who left the Premier League for the Chinese Super League when Spurs sold him in 2015 would not have got anywhere near the Barcelona squad.
In the intervening years he became an integral part of Guangzhou Evergrande and helped the Chinese team to become the Asian Champions whilst he was also part of Tite's revitalisation of the Brazil national team.
Paulinho during his very successful spell in China. Image: PA
Then in the summer he moved to Barcelona in a move that we didn't really expect but his two goals in five appearances in La Liga has proved it to be an astute piece of business for Ernesto Valverde.
But if he's taken to it all naturally the 29 year old, talking to El Periodico, revealed that before moving to the Camp Nou a word from Messi in the middle of a Brazil vs Argentina game about the move made him too nervous to take a free kick:
"I was preparing to take a free-kick with Willian and another player I do not remember. Suddenly, I see Messi from behind, who is approaching me little by little and says: 'Are you going to Barcelona or not?' He told me right before I was about to take the free-kick.
"What did I tell him? 'If you want to take me, you can take me. I am going'. I was so nervous that I said to Willian, 'You're taking the free-kick!'"
Paulinho battles with Angel di Maria during the friendly back in June. Image: PA
If it was a ploy by Messi to put Paulinho off taking the free-kick and his game then it worked perfectly with the former Corinthians man unable to take it and Argentina going on to win the match 1-0.
Even his mind games are too good. Image: PA
On the other hand it was the perfect time to 'tap up' the player if he already knew that his club had an interest in signing Paulinho and it clearly worked for that purpose too.
Messi will be hoping that he doesn't make Paulinho nervous on the pitch anymore.