Paulo da Silva

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For the Brazilian wrestler with the same name, see Giant Silva.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Da Silva and the second or maternal family name is Barrios.
Paulo da Silva
Paulo César Da Silva.jpg
Da Silva in 2011
Personal information
Full name Paulo César da Silva Barrios
Date of birth (1980-02-01) 1 February 1980 (age 35)
Place of birth Asunción, Paraguay
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Number 4
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995 Atlántida 36 (0)
1996 Presidente Hayes
1997 Sport Colombia
1997–1998 Cerro Porteño 30 (1)
1998–1999 Perugia 2 (0)
1999–2000 Lanús 14 (1)
2000–2001 Venezia 7 (0)
2001 Cosenza 2 (0)
2002–2003 Libertad 30 (2)
2003–2009 Toluca 235 (20)
2009–2011 Sunderland 24 (0)
2011–2012 Zaragoza 42 (1)
2012–2013 Pachuca 33 (2)
2013– Toluca 71 (12)
National team
1994[2] Paraguay U17
1999 Paraguay U20 14 (3)
2000 Paraguay U23
2000– Paraguay 119 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 March 2015.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 June 2013

Paulo César da Silva Barrios (born 1 February 1980 in Asunción) is a Paraguayan footballer who plays for Toluca FC in Mexico, as a centre back.

He has previously played top-flight football in Paraguay, Italy, Argentina, England and Spain.

He has played for the Paraguay national football team since 2000, earning over 100 caps and playing at two World Cups and two Copa América tournaments.[3]


Da Silva started his career in the youth divisions of Atlántida Sport Club. Before joining Toluca, da Silva played for Perugia and Venezia of Italy, and Lanús of Argentina. He joined Toluca from Paraguayan club Libertad for the 2003 Apertura. Since making his debut, da Silva has been a mainstay in Toluca's defence, starting all but one game that he has played and eventually becoming the team's captain due to his leadership on the field. In 2007 he was chosen for the "Ideal Eleven" squad of South America[4] and in 2008 he led Toluca to the Apertura 2008 title, being chosen as the best overall player of the tournament by the Mexican media.[5]


On 13 July 2009, Da Silva joined Sunderland A.F.C. on a three-year deal. His arrival at the Stadium of Light was followed by a long and confusing period in regards to his visa application. Da Silva was granted a work permit to play in England almost immediately, but had to wait for over a month to get his visa before it was eventually granted on 12 August.

He made his debut on 24 August against Norwich City in the League Cup, playing the whole 90 minutes of a 4–1 away win.[6] Da Silva, like John Mensah, made his full debut for Sunderland in their 2–0 win against Birmingham City in the League Cup 4th round. Paulo was rotated throughout his first season at the club, but performed consistently when required. Manager Steve Bruce cited 'settlement' as the reason behind playing Da Silva in phases, stating he needed time to adjust to the English game and lifestyle. He was joined at the club by his international teammate Cristian Riveros in May 2010. Da Silva's second season at Sunderland was a difficult one, as he made just a handful of appearances. His last appearance for Sunderland came in their home defeat to Notts County in the FA Cup on 8 January 2011.

Real Zaragoza[edit]

Da Silva joined Real Zaragoza from Sunderland in January 2011 for an undisclosed fee, with his new club in 15th in La Liga at the time.[7] They finished the season in 13th.


Da Silva re-joined Toluca on May 31, 2013.[8]

International career[edit]

Barely aged 14, da Silva was called up to the Paraguay U17 squad in 1994.[9]

In 2000, da Silva represented Paraguay U23 at the 2000 CONMEBOL Men Pre-Olympic Tournament.[10]

Da Silva during a friendly match against Australia in October 2010

He played for Paraguay in 1997 and 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, but missed the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. However, he was named in the 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He also played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,[11] featuring in all five of Paraguay's games in their run to the quarter-finals, and provided an assist for Sunderland teammate Cristian Riveros in their 2–0 win against Slovakia in the group stages.




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