The end of a long and astonishing story. Since Monday, everything is over between Paulinho and the Guangzhou Football Club, former Guangzhou Evergrande. A collaboration that began in June 2015, when the Brazilian left Tottenham to join the Middle Empire. After two years there, the midfielder played a season at Barça (in 2017-18) before returning to China in 2018. Happy in Guangzhou, he finally packed up this summer. Asked by Mundo Deportivo, the native of São Paulo has revealed the underside of his departure.
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The Brazilian hasn’t played since November 2020
“I had been in Brazil for six or seven months because the Chinese consulate did not allow me to travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, I trained with Red Bull Bragantino. There they received the guidelines from Guangzhou, which I followed. However, seeing that I could not travel and that I still had a year of contract left, both parties agreed to terminate the contract. I would have liked to say goodbye to the Guangzhou fans on the pitch, but I had a very good outing after six seasons ”.
Paulinho, who has not played an official match since November 12, 2020 (90 minutes against Jiangsu Sainty), is ready and eager to take on a new challenge. “It’s true that I haven’t played an official game for seven months and it’s a long time. But I have trained hard with Red Bull Bragantino and I am maintaining my physical shape. I just need to play. If I sign in a club, I would only need three or four games to get into the rhythm of the competition ”. In shape according to him, the 32-year-old, who has only had one big injury in his 16-year career, is determined to bounce back.
Paulinho would not say no to Barca
“My first option is to go back to Europe, because I feel that I still have the will and the capacity to continue to compete and fight to win titles (…) I understand that after the year that I ‘spent at Barça, there will now be teams in Europe who will be interested in me, but everything is very recent and we must be patient ”, began by explaining Paulinho. Then, he mentioned a possible return to Catalonia, he who kept good memories of Barça.
“Barça is a team that I know well. I spent an unforgettable year there, both at the club and in the city. We had won the League and the Copa del Rey. If I had another chance, and it was something good for me and my family, I would be delighted ”. A nice call from the foot from a player who has the advantage of knowing the house well, but above all of being available for free. Which is quite a good thing as Barca, in debt, seek to save money and remain on the lookout to sign a midfielder after the failure of the Georginio Wijnaldum dossier.
The community is ready to make an effort
Especially since Paulinho is ready to make an effort. “For me, the financial aspect and the duration of the contract would not be a problem, it never has been, even less if the team that calls you is Barça. I already showed it when I left Guangzhou to go there with a lot less pay than in China. I’ve never put money forward in my career so it wouldn’t be a problem to go back. Moreover, this time the club would not have to pay for a transfer for me ”.
At the time, the Culés had paid around € 42 million to get him to sign a 4-year lease. A year later, he returned to Guangzhou on a loan with an option to buy before being bought back for € 50 million. A transfer which had also raised questions. A few years later, Paulinho is therefore found on the market. Ready to relaunch in Europe, he does not put pressure on himself to find a club. “My separation from Guangzhou is very recent, so it takes me a few more weeks to see what proposals come in and evaluate them”. There is no doubt that such an affair should arouse envy.