Paulinho had a brilliant 2012 Copa Libertadores, 2013 Club World Cup and 2013 Confederations Cup. He arrived to Tottenham Hotspur as a can't miss midfield signing whose energy, goal-scoring prowess and incredible form were going to carry him to a key role in the Spurs side. But as we all know, he struggled in his first season, and some are wondering where he fits in going forward.
Still, Paulinho has been excellent in Brazil friendlies even while he's struggled for Spurs, so we had some hope that he would have a brilliant World Cup for the Selecao, leading to a resurgence for Spurs or a sale at a very nice profit. But the Paulinho that played on Thursday looked a lot like the one that we watched at Spurs this year, and nothing like the one who dominated the Confederations Cup for his country.
It was concerning, given that he's upped his game for his country over the last year. The hard work of Oscar in front of him and the discipline of Luiz Gustavo behind him didn't help. Paulinho gave the ball away and didn't look dangerous going forward.
Brazil shouldn't panic quite yet -- Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric are probably both top five midfielders in the world on form -- but it was a worrying sign. Paulinho doesn't look good, and it's a continuation of poor form, not a blip during a solid run.
I really hope we didn't break him.