Fernandinho replaced Paulinho at halftime and made an instant impact in his first World Cup appearance, scoring the final goal in the Seleção's win last night that ensured they won Group A.
Paulinho has come under criticism from Brazilian fans and the Spurs midfielder is lacking confidence after a tough first season with Tottenham Hotspur.
Fernandinho enjoyed quite the opposite and thrived in the City midfield alongside Yaya Toure following his summer move as they won the Premier League title.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari continued to stick with Paulinho until halftime last night, and they looked like a much better side when Fernandinho was introduced.
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Fernandinho has already outscored Paulinho despite playing 153 minutes less, and was more dominant in the middle of the pitch.
The 29-year-old won five duels in his second-half appearance more, a much better return considering Paulinho is averaging just two won duels per game.
The City man also made more successful passes than the 25-year-old has averaged in his three appearances and he has to stay in the side for their round of 16 clash with Chile on Saturday.
Fernandinho will pressure the Chilean midfielders more than Paulinho would, and offers more energy than the Spurs man too.
The former Corinthians midfielder's World Cup could be over as it would be a risk if Scolari were to bring him back into the side following such an excellent display from Fernandinho.