New Barcelona midfielder Paulinho has certainly changed the opinions surrounding his ability since making the switch from China to Spain.
The Brazilian, who failed to make an impact at Tottenham before heading to the Chinese Super League, is now a key player at the Camp Nou, having already scored six times and assisted two goals in 15 La Liga appearances.
He has had no difficulty adapting to the present Barca team and looks like he has been playing there for years. Speaking in an exclusive interview with ?Mundo Deportivo, the player admitted that it was easier to settle in because he had the help of his new teammates, particularly Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets.
?“Since the first day I arrived, four months ago, many people helped me and my family,” he said. “All the players have been helping me, but I especially speak with three: Leo, Suárez, and Busquets. They are the ones who have helped me better understand the way Barça plays.
“People think I’ve been here for a year or two? That’s a good sign. It’s a sign that I’m doing my job well.”
The 29-year-old also revealed what has surprised him the most about the club since he joined.
“The trainings,” he replied after being asked what stood out most. “The fans only see the matches, but I have no explanation on the high quality things that happen in training.
“Many of my friends ask me how the quality of training is and I tell them: ‘It is better than you can imagine. It may seem easy, but it isn’t. You need to have some quality to play at Barça.”
There was also something to be said on the situation with Javier Mascherano. The Argentinian could be on his way to China pretty soon, having fallen down the pecking order at Barca. And Paulinho admits having spoken about the Chinese league with the 33-year-old utility man.
“I don’t know how is situation is going,” he said. “He’s a player who’s been here for seven seasons. He and other players have asked me how the league in China is and I tell them that I have a lot of respect for the Chinese League. My life was very good there.
“When I arrived, Mascherano asked me if my family adapted in China, how the training was, and if the food was good. I told him that football has evolved a lot in China. I gave him the best possible people to talk to if he was interested in going to China. If he goes, I’m sure that he’ll like it.”