The summer of 2013 will be an unforgettable one in the life of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.
He helped his country triumph at the Confederations Cup, playing a key role in the tournament including netting a winner in the semi-final against Uruguay, and in the final he almost scored with an audacious first half chip on Iker Casillas from 30-yards out.
This summer is also momentous for him because he is set to decide his future, with Tottenham Hotspur ready to commit to a £17 million bid to meet the release clause in his Corinthians contract.
Judging from his performance last night he will be worth every penny, proving he can compete against the very best, in Spain.
So how did he get on against Barcelona's normally perfect duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta?
Here is a look at how their key stats compare:
Paulinho did not make nearly as many as passes as either of the Spanish pair. He made 38 passes compared to Xavi's 79 and Iniesta's 74. But he did equal and better them in terms of pass completion accuracy. 92 per cent of Paulinho's passes found a teammate, matching Xavi's 92 per cent and bettering Iniesta's 85 per cent.
Paulinho made two successful tackles during the final. Xavi did not make a single tackle, and nor did Andres Iniesta.
Both team's pressing games made it difficult for each other to keep the ball, with Paulinho making three interceptions during the course of the match. Xavi also made three interceptions for Spain, with Iniesta making two.
Xavi or Iniesta did not give away a single foul between them, whereas Paulinho committed four fouls for Brazil. This is not a major negative, as it shows his effectiveness in breaking up the play and was not booked for a single one.
Paulinho did not make any successful dribbling attempts during the final, and nor did Xavi. Andres Iniesta completed seven successful dribbles, the most of any player on the pitch, with Neymar making six.
Shots on goal
Paulinho had one shot, which was on target and saved by Casillas. While is one more than Xavi made the entire match. Andres Iniesta had three attempts on goal, but only one was on target.
Spurs fans what did you think of Paulinho's performance? Are you hoping a deal can be reached this week?
image: © visualkreator