Atlético-MG announced this Thursday morning (1) the signing of attacking midfielder Paulinho, 22 years old, who was at Bayer Leverkusen. Revealed by Vasco, the Brazilian stayed for four years in German football, before choosing to return to Brazil. Paulinho is Galo’s first reinforcement for the 2023 season, the year in which the club from Minas Gerais will inaugurate the MRV Arena.
Paulinho has a contract with Bayer Leverkusen until June 2023, which gives the player the right to sign a pre-contract with any other club starting next month. As he had already communicated to the German club the decision not to renew the contract, the attacking midfielder had a verbal agreement with Atlético. Since then, the alvinegra board has negotiated with Leverkusen a way to anticipate the arrival of Paulinho, who would appear in Cidade do Galo only in July.
With the agreement made between the clubs, Paulinho will be loaned to Atlético until June of next year, until the end of the contract with Leverkusen. As of July, the definitive contract with the team from Minas Gerais will take effect.
Revealed by Vasco, Paulinho quickly stood out with the cross-Maltese shirt and attracted the interest of several European clubs. In 2018, Bayer Leverkusen disbursed almost 20 million euros (about R$ 85 million at the time) to hire the young promise from Vasco.
In 2021, Paulinho was part of the Brazilian team that won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
New stage in career
After four years in Europe, Paulinho decided it was time to return to Brazil. With little space at Bayer Leverkusen, the return to Brazilian football was a decision to gain space in the Brazilian national team, aiming for the 2026 World Cup.
Upset with the recent situation in Germany, there were only seven matches in the current season, totaling less than 180 minutes on the field, Paulinho used a video of Ronaldinho Gaúcho, then an Atlético player, to celebrate the hit with the Galo.
In the passage used by Paulinho, R10 sings the chorus of the song Eu Amo a Vida, by the Samba Pra Gente Group. “I love life. I don’t want to waste a minute, I love living. I love life”.