Paulo Sousa

For various people of a similar name, see Paulo Souza.
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Carvalho and the second or paternal family name is Sousa.
Paulo Sousa

Sousa in 2014
Personal information
Full name Paulo Manuel Carvalho de Sousa
Date of birth (1970-08-30) 30 August 1970
Place of birth Viseu, Portugal
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Fiorentina (coach)
Youth career
1984–1986 Repesenses
1986–1989 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1993 Benfica 87 (1)
1993–1994 Sporting CP 31 (2)
1994–1996 Juventus 54 (1)
1996–1997 Borussia Dortmund 27 (1)
1998–2000 Internazionale 31 (0)
2000Parma (loan) 8 (0)
2000–2001 Panathinaikos 10 (0)
2002 Espanyol 9 (0)
Total 257 (5)
National team
1989 Portugal U20 2 (0)
1989–1991 Portugal U21 9 (1)
1991–2002 Portugal 52 (0)
Teams managed
2005–2008 Portugal U16
2008–2009 Queens Park Rangers
2009–2010 Swansea City
2010 Leicester City
2011–2013 Videoton
2013–2014 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2014–2015 Basel
2015– Fiorentina

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Paulo Manuel Carvalho de Sousa, CavIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpawlu ˈso(w)zɐ]; born 30 August 1970) is a former Portuguese footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and the current coach of Italian club ACF Fiorentina.

He was a member of the "Portugal Golden Generation".[1] Starting his career at Benfica, he also represented Sporting in his country, where he amassed Primeira Liga totals of 117 games and six goals in five years, and appeared with the national team in one World Cup and two European Championships.

From there onwards Sousa competed mainly in Italy and in Germany, winning the Champions League with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund and the Intercontinental Cup with the latter. His later career was severely hindered by injuries.[2]

In the late 2000s Sousa took up coaching, managing several clubs in England, Wales and other countries and winning national championships with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Basel.

Playing career


Born in Viseu, Sousa started playing professionally for S.L. Benfica, being a starter from an early age, winning the national championship in 1991 and the domestic cup two years later.[3]

Later that summer, Sousa signed, together with teammate António Pacheco, for Lisbon neighbours Sporting Clube de Portugal. After a single season, where he partnered Luís Figo and Krassimir Balakov in midfield and the Lions came out empty in silverware, he joined Juventus FC.


Sousa played for the Turin side for two seasons, leading it to the 1995–96 conquest of the UEFA Champions League.[3] He also won the previous year's Serie A, adding that year the domestic cup and supercups and also finishing as runner-up in the UEFA Cup.[2]

Sousa then moved to Germany to play for Borussia Dortmund, where he repeated the Champions League triumph the following season.[3] The final was against his former club Juventus and, although he appeared in that game, his Dortmund spell was plagued with injuries, which followed him the remainder of his career.[2]

Sousa subsequently returned to Italy to play for Internazionale, and eventually retired in the 2002 summer at the age of 31, after briefly representing Parma FC (loan),[4] Panathinaikos F.C. and RCD Espanyol.[3]

International career

A member of the Portugal squad that won the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship,[5] Sousa went on to earn 51 caps for the senior national team,[3] his international debut coming on 16 January 1991 in a friendly against Spain that ended in a 1–1 draw.[6]

He played for his country at UEFA Euro 1996,[7] and 2000,[6] and was a squad member at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but did not play a single match.[2] His last appearance came shortly before the latter competition, a 2–0 friendly win over China.[8]

Style of play

Although Sousa was not particularly known for his pace, he was a hard-working, intelligent and versatile player, who was effective both offensively and defensively. Although he was usually classified as a hard-tackling defensive midfielder, he also possessed excellent vision and control, and was often deployed as a deep-lying playmaker throughout his career due to his passing accuracy, technique and ability to control the tempo of his teams' play; his playing style drew comparisons with Paulo Roberto Falcão throughout his career.

In addition to his skill and creative abilities, Sousa was also renowned for his leadership.[6][9][10][11]

Managerial career

Portugal national team

Sousa began his coaching career by joining the coaching staff of the Portugal national team, taking the helm of the under-15s, and in the summer of 2008 was appointed assistant to first-team coach Carlos Queiroz, his former boss at Sporting and the Portuguese youths.

Queens Park Rangers

On 19 November 2008, Sousa was appointed head coach of Championship team Queens Park Rangers.[12] However, on 9 April 2009, he was sacked, as the club claimed he had divulged sensitive information without permission from the hierarchy, which included Dexter Blackstock's loan move to Nottingham Forest having been agreed without his knowledge.[13]

Swansea City

Following Roberto Martínez's move to Wigan Athletic, Sousa was offered the role as Swansea City manager on 18 June 2009.[14] He verbally accepted the deal, signing a three-year contract, and was officially appointed on the 23rd.[15]

During the league campaign, Sousa led Swansea to its highest league finish for 27 years (seventh), just outside the play-offs.[16] On 4 July 2010 he departed by mutual consent, set to take the vacant managerial post at Leicester City.[17]

Leicester City

On 7 July 2010, Sousa became the new manager of Leicester City. Owner Milan Mandarić stated that he was delighted to "acquire a manager of such great calibre", adding he was "the right man to take our club forward".[18]

On 1 October, after less than three months in charge, Sousa was fired by Leicester, after a poor start to the season, with the team having won only once in his first nine league games.[19]


Sousa in 2011

On 15 May 2011, Sousa signed a three-year contract with newly crowned Hungarian champions Videoton FC.[20] He made his official debut in the Champions League qualifying round against Austria's SK Sturm Graz, in a 0–2 away loss,[21] followed by an insufficient 3–2 home win.[22]

On 30 August 2012, the day of his 42nd birthday, Videoton hosted Trabzonspor for the season's Europa League last qualifying round. After the 4–2 penalty shootout win (0–0 after 120 minutes), he stated: "The qualification was the most beautiful birthday of my life".[23]

On 7 January 2013, Videoton announced that they had agreed to terminate Sousa's contract due to family reasons.[24] That same day, it was reported that he would become the new manager of the New York Red Bulls,[25] but nothing came of it.

Maccabi Tel Aviv

On 12 June 2013, Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. officially appointed Sousa as its head coach.[26] He won the Israeli Premier League in his first and only season in charge.


On 28 May 2014 Sousa changed clubs and countries again, signing a three-year contract with FC Basel in the Swiss Super League.[27] He left on 17 June of the following year, after again winning the national championship.[28]


On 21 June 2015, Sousa joined Serie A club ACF Fiorentina.[29]




Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Portugal League Taça de Portugal Europe Total
1989–90BenficaPrimeira Liga200020
1993–94SportingPrimeira Liga31260372
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1994–95JuventusSerie A261100361
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
1996–97Borussia DortmundBundesliga11140151
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1997–98InternazionaleSerie A11000110
1999–2000ParmaSerie A8020100
Greece League Greek Cup Europe Total
2000–01PanathinaikosAlpha Ethniki6041101
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
2001–02EspanyolLa Liga9000100
Country Portugal 11831701353
Italy 9312111142
Germany 27190361
Greece 100111211
Spain 900090
Total 25755823157




Managerial statistics

As of 4 December 2016[32]
Team Nat. From To Record
Queens Park Rangers England 19 November 2008 9 April 2009 26 7 12 7 23 24 −1 26.9
Swansea City Wales 23 June 2009 4 July 2010 49 18 18 13 45 39 +6 36.7
Leicester City England 7 July 2010 1 October 2010 12 4 2 6 18 27 −9 33.3
Videoton Hungary 1 June 2011 7 January 2013 88 52 17 19 140 63 +77 59.1
Maccabi Tel Aviv[33] Israel 11 June 2013 28 May 2014 49 31 10 8 91 45 +46 63.3
Basel Switzerland 18 June 2014 17 June 2015 50 32 7 11 112 60 +52 64.0
Fiorentina Italy 21 June 2015 Present 66 30 18 18 108 74 +34 45.5
Total 334 170 82 82 522 331 +191 50.9




Borussia Dortmund[34]




Maccabi Tel Aviv[37]


  1. "QPR happy to gamble on Sousa". ESPN Soccernet. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Injuries force Paulo Sousa to retire". 2 July 2002. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Paulo Sousa: In profile". Queens Park Rangers. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  4. Capone, Antonello; Laudisa, Carlo (1 February 2000). "Inter Parma, scambio Sousa Serena" [Inter Parma, Sousa Serena exchange] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  5. Paulo SousaFIFA competition record
  6. 1 2 3 "Paulo Sousa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  7. Gwidon S. Naskrent (7 December 2001). "EURO 1996". RSSSF. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  8. Thomas Lyford-Pike (28 May 2002). "Sousa in doubt for first game". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  9. Marco Ansaldo (10 April 1994). "Sousa il Cervello per la Juve" [Sousa the Brain for Juve] (in Italian). La Stampa. p. 33. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  10. "Sousa, geometra del goal 'Corro a regola d' arte'" [Sousa, surveyor of goals 'I run to perfection'] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 22 May 1995. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  11. Mina Rzouki (11 December 2015). "Juventus can can announce title intentions with Fiorentina win". ESPN FC. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  12. "Sousa is new QPR first team coach". BBC Sport. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  13. "QPR axe Sousa after just 26 games". BBC Sport. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  14. "Sousa to be named Swans manager". South Wales Evening Post. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  15. "Swansea unveil new manager Sousa". BBC Sport. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  16. Paulo Sousa backed to succeed as new manager of Leicester City; This Is Leicestershire, 6 July 2010
  17. Paulo Sousa departs as Swansea City manager; BBC Sport, 5 July 2010
  18. "Paulo Sousa confirmed as Leicester City boss". BBC Sport. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  19. "Leicester City sack manager Paulo Sousa". BBC Sport. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  20. "Paulo Sousa appointed Videoton coach". 15 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  21. "Sturm strike late to leave Videoton facing uphill task". 13 July 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  22. "Sturm go through after stern test in Hungary". 20 July 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  23. "Paulo Sousa: "A továbbjutás volt a legszebb születésnapi ajándék"" (in Hungarian). Videoton FC. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  24. "Paulo Sousa is leaving Videoton FC as manager". Videoton FC. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  25. "Paulo Sousa abandona Videoton e está a caminho dos EUA" [Paulo Sousa leaves Videoton, is on his way to the USA] (in Portuguese). A Bola. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  26. "Paulo Sousa appointed as head coach". Maccabi Tel Aviv. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  27. "Paulo Sousa wird neuer Cheftrainer beim FC Basel 1893" [Paulo Sousa is new FC Basel 1893 head coach] (in German). FC Basel. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  28. "FC Basel coach Sousa leaves after one season". Daily Mail. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  29. "Official: Sousa Fiorentina coach". Football Italia. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  30. "Paulo Sousa". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  31. "Paulo Sousa". European Football. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  32. Paulo Sousa management career statistics at Soccerbase
  33. Fixtures; at Maccabi Tel Aviv
  34. 1 2 3 "Paulo Sousa". Eurosport. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  35. Pierre Winkler (17 January 2004). "European Championship 2000 – Full Details Final Tournament". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  36. "Italy – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  37. 1 2 3 "P. Sousa – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
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