|Full name||João Paulo Maio dos Santos|
|Date of birth||21 November 1970|
|Place of birth||Vila do Conde, Portugal|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Current club||Porto (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He spent 11 years of his professional career with Porto, playing in several positions and winning 19 major titles whilst appearing in more than 300 official games for the club.
Born in Vila do Conde, Santos started playing with hometown's Rio Ave FC, competing two seasons in the second division and one in the third. He moved in 1992 to F.C. Porto, helping the latter (often in an instrumental role) to seven league titles and five domestic cups, having taken over from the player he idolized while growing up, António André – who had also played in his first club.
In Porto, Santos and four others became the only players in the history of Portuguese football to win five consecutive league titles (1994–99). When the won the 2003 edition of the UEFA Cup, he was already second-fiddle – five games in his last two seasons combined – and retired at the end of that campaign.
A player of aggressive approach, Santos often scuffled with Sport Lisboa e Benfica's João Vieira Pinto during his career: As a symbolic gesture, however, they exchanged shirts before Santos' last match, against Sporting Clube de Portugal (where Pinto was then playing), at Estádio das Antas, in June 2003.
Three years later Santos began a coaching career, spending several years with Porto's various youth sides, mainly as an assistant. In the same predicament, in 2011–12, he was promoted to the first team, joining Vítor Pereira's staff.
For Portugal, Santos received 30 international caps, scoring two goals (including a solo effort in a 1–1 away draw against Austria on 11 October 1995). His first game was on 19 January 1994 in a 2–2 draw with Spain in Vigo, in a friendly match, and his last came on 10 February 1999 in a 0–0 draw with Holland at the Parc des Princes in Paris, in another exhibition game.
|1||15 August 1995||Sportpark Eschen-Mauren, Eschen, Liechtenstein||Liechtenstein||0–2||0–7||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|2||11 October 1995||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria||Austria||1–1||1–1||Euro 1996 qualifying|
- Portuguese League: 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2002–03
- Portuguese Cup: 1993–94, 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03
- Portuguese Supercup: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001
- UEFA Cup: 2002–03
- Paulinho Santos at footballzz.co.uk
- Stats at ForaDeJogo
- Paulinho Santos at National-Football-Teams.com