The Tottenham star may have lost his Brazil place, but he has shown that he is a player and individual of tremendous character.
Spurs fans may have been surprised to see one of their own players giving the rousing teammtalk ahead of Brazil's nail biting penalty shootout win over Chile.
After criticism of his performances so far in the tournament led Luiz Felipe Scolari to drop the former Corinthians man, many would think it would be easy for the 25-year-old to sulk on the bench, distraught at being snubbed for what could have been Brazil's final match of the tournament.
Instead, more than any other player, Paulinho was up and around his tired teammates, apparently urging focus and encouragement. In the final huddle he was even in the middle of the players and staff, barking out belief to Julio Cesar and all of his compatriots.
It was impressive stuff from the box-to-box midfielder, and indicated that he possesses the commitment and determination many modern footballers lack.
New Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, were he watching, would have certainly been impressed at the character his player displayed, especially considering character was something the Spurs side lacked at times last year.
With Paulinho coming into his second season at White Hart Lane, he is sure to have settled in more at the club, giving him the belief to stand up and be counted, and encourage others to do the same.
And coming back a World Cup winner wouldn't do him any harm either.