Livorno’s Paulinho is delighted to have finally made it as a top-flight player after failing trials with Inter, Roma and Chelsea.
The 27-year-old has started the campaign brightly by scoring three goals in three games after helping the club to promotion last season.
But, speaking with the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday, the Brazilian has admitted his journey to becoming a regular Serie A starter has been tough.
“I could have ended up at Inter, Roma or Torino,” the forward noted. “I trained with Inter’s youth players for a week.
“On the other pitch I saw the likes of Adriano, Alvaro Recoba and Marco Materazzi working. But I didn’t join them…
“I arrived at Roma with my friend Felipe Spellmeier, who was a phenomenon. He was signed, but a year later and nothing. He got lost, perhaps he didn’t have the right mentality.
“I also had a trial at Chelsea, it was while Jose Mourinho was there. He saw I was struggling, he said something like I had great potential, but that I needed to believe in myself.”
Paulinho was signed by Livorno in 2004, but he initially struggled for games with the Amaranto and during a temporary spell with Grosseto.
“The later loan to Sorrento [a Serie D club in 2009] was decisive for me. I played all of the time. Dropping down Divisions helps to form you, on a mental level too.”