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Potential £17m Tottenham signing could have quit after ugly previous European experience

Paulinho could have quit football altogether after struggling to make it in Brazil after a difficult experience in Lithuania and Poland.

Tottenham Hotspur look on the verge of signing Brazilian international Paulinho this summer after much speculation over the players future for the past couple of seasons. The reliable midfielder has been in stunning form for both his club side Corinthians and at international level as a regular in the Selecao midfield.

Now Corinthians and Paulinho have confirmed that a fee, said to be in the £17 million region, has been agreed between the two outfits over his services.

Paulinho is however a careful operator and has admitted he will not make a decision until speaking it over with his childhood sweetheart wife; with a decision likely to come after the Confederations Cup.

The player has previously rejected a move to Europe and when he decided against signing for Inter Milan last summer two reasons were cited among the press.

Firstly that he wanted to represent Corinthians in what was an eventual FIFA Club World Cup campaign; and secondly over fears of racism in the Italian game.

In recent years, despite coming on leaps and bounds, Italy has remained one of the biggest footballing nations in mainland Europe to suffer the scourge of racism.

And for Paulinho it is a matter that is very close to his heart.

As, if he was to decide on a move to London this summer, it would not be his first European excursion as a player.

As many a Brazilian youngster has in recent years he came over to Europe to make his name on the continent in a smaller nation before attempting to crack one of the big leagues.

While for many a Brazilian before him this usually involves a move to Scandinavia, Holland or Portugal for Paulinho he went down the Eastern European route; more specifically in the Baltic’s.

He arrived in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius as a 17-year-old and immediately signed up with one of the capital clubs FC Vilnius in 2006.

He had an incredible first campaign at the club but amid financial problems the side was relegated and subsequently liquidated a year later.

But Paulinho had caught the eye of LKS Lodz in Poland and he soon embarked on a Polish adventure.

We all know the battle that Polish football has with racist attitudes from an alarming minority at football matches after it was clearly identified as a major issue prior to the European Championships in 2012.

And Paulinho suffered racist abuse in the country before his return to previous club Audax Sao Paulo after one season; an experience that almost caused him to quit football altogether. 

He was convinced otherwise by his wife who convinced him that this was the only job for him; football was his salvation.

The rest is history; he moved on to Bragantino and then Corinthians and this summer could become richer than his wildest dreams ever probably allowed if he was to make a swap to London.

But he will only do so with backing and support of his loving family; the secret to what makes this player tick so effortlessly on the football pitch.

image: © visualkreator

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