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Over the last couple of months few players identities have risen in the public psyche quicker than that of Paulinho. He's a stranger to many in Europe due to a career spent in Brazil and a handful of obscure continental outposts. However, it looks like the dynamic midfielder will soon become a household name.
His move away from Corinthians looks “imminent,” according to Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports. The likes of Monaco and Internazionale have been linked with the Sao Paulo-born star. It may be, however, that the Premier League is to be his destination, with Tottenham Hotspur favourites for his signature.
If this tournament is anything to go by, then Spurs will be picking up a genuine asset.
Against Uruguay, he added to his recent delightful performances by scoring a late, emphatic winner. It was the goal that catapulted Brazil into the weekend’s final and it has surely made Paulinho the talk of Belo Horizonte.
With the side struggling under the expectation of supporters and Brazil ambling, unsteadily, towards an undesirable extra time, the goal came as a massive relief. How important could it prove to be, not just in the short-term context of this tournament, but in the long-term context of the development of this Brazilian team?