Player Profile: Pauleta PDF Print E-mail

PauletaFull name: Pedro Miguel Carreiro Resendes

Position: Forward

Date of Birth: 28 April 1973

Birthplace: Ponta Delgada, Azores


Pedro Pauleta is Portugal’s all-time record goalscorer, having scored 47 goals in 89 appearances for his country. The feat is made all the more remarkable when it is considered that Pauleta has never played a single match in the top flight of Portuguese football.

Pauleta was raised in the Atlantic islands of the Azores, and signed his first professional contract in in 1994 with local side Uniao Micaelense. After a year in Portugal’s second tier with Estoril-Praia, where he was the league’s top goalscorer, he made the move to Salamanca in the Spanish second division in 1996.

During a two-year spell with the club, Pauleta helped Salamanca to promotion in his first season, before finding the net 15 times in his first campaign in La Liga. His goals in the top flight attracted the attention of Deportivo La Coruna, and a spell in Galicia ended with Pauleta part of the Depor side that won their first ever league title in 2000.

Goal machine in France

He was not always a first choice at Deportivo, and was tempted into moving again when Bordeaux took him to French football, where he has enjoyed his best years. A hat-trick on his debut against Nantes marked the beginning of a hugely successful three-year spell in Aquitaine, during which he picked up two ‘Ligue 1 Footballer of the Year’ awards.

His time at Bordeaux saw him gain the status as the most feared striker in Ligue 1, and his intelligent movement off the ball and wide range of finishing, including a deadly reputation in the air and from free-kicks, has seen the Portuguese regularly topping the goalscoring charts during his time in France.

He was soon nicknamed ‘L’Aigle des Açores’ (The Eagle of the Azores) as his famous goal celebration - in which he stretches out both arms in imitation of the Açor bird (goshawk) after which his home isles are thought to be named - became a familiar sight to French football observers.

A €12m move to Paris Saint-Germain came in 2003, and although his own performances remained at a high standard, Pauleta has often been credited with carrying an underachieving PSG side throughout his tenure in the French capital.

 Typically, it was Pauleta who proved the matchwinner as PSG picked up their first trophy in six years, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 French Cup win over Chateauroux at the end of his first season. As captain of the side, Pauleta helped reclaim the trophy in 2006.

Already a cult hero amongst the Parisian fans, Pauleta gained further acclaim from his adoring supporters at the Parc Des Princes when, in the summer of 2006, he spurned the chance to move to French champions Lyon, announcing that he planned to see out the remaining two years of his contract, before retiring from the game in 2008.

Twilight years (update - 13/06/09)

Pedro Pauleta’s seventh season in French football was without doubt his most testing, with the striker admitting it was the worst season of his distinguished career. Nevertheless, Pauleta ended what was a turbulent campaign for PSG as the French league’s top goalscorer again.

The 2007/08 season would prove his final one, with Pauleta finding the net until the very end. He retired at 35 without having played one game in the Portuguese top flight.


International Football

Pauleta made his international debut in 1997, although he was relatively unknown in his homeland at the time due to his lack of top flight exposure in Portugal. Having been used as a substitute at Euro 2000, Pauleta was a first choice for his country at the 2002 World Cup, and again led the line in Portugal’s run to the final of Euro 2004.

His unerring consistency at hitting the back of the net made him Portugal’s automatic choice in their one-striker system for years, and it was no surprise when he became his country’s all-time record goalscorer in October 2005, before bowing out of the international setup after the World Cup 2006 in Germany.

by Sean Gillen (13/06/09)

Estoril Praia3019
Deportivo La Coruna5818
Paris Saint-Germain16876

* League appearances only

Comments (3)
Without him it`s hard in portugal`s best eleven
3 Thursday, 24 November 2011 08:09
His early resigning cost the best eleven in the world
2 Thursday, 24 November 2011 08:00
Pedro he is the football player in the world,he is magic feeted and he have potential to score as many goals as he can
Amazing Record
1 Saturday, 26 March 2011 19:29
Not only did he break King Eusebio's goal scoring record, but yesterday I just found out that in every game he scored, Portugal never lost a game. The official record is 29Wins, 6Draws, 0Losts. Is their any other International forward out there who can say the same?

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