He started his career at América Mineiro, where he shone with along Fred, a international Brazilian player, who, coincidentally, is again Wagner's colleague in Fluminense FC, and went on to play for Cruzeiro, another team from Belo Horizonte. Cruzeiro sold Wágner to Al-Ittihad after a transfer fee of around €9 million on January 2007, but a clause in his contract allowed him to come back to Cruzeiro in June 2007 after Al-Ittihad could not finish paying his transfer fee. He was important in Al-Ittihad's championship run. On 7 August 2009 Championat.ru confirm that Lokomotiv Moscow have acquired the Brazilian player, for 6 million euros. 3 days later this move was confirmed by Nikolay Naumov, president of Lokomotiv.
Wagner is a left footed offensive midfielder and striker, but is also working on using his right foot too. Despite playing all of the 2006 season as an offensive midfielder, he led the Campeonato Brasileiro, in its early stages, with 8 goals in 10 games. He is a free-kick specialist, scoring a majority of his goals through free-kicks.