Óscar de Paula
|Full name||Óscar de Paula Gamero|
|Date of birth||31 May 1975|
|Place of birth||Durango, Spain|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Born in Durango, Biscay, Basque Country, de Paula began his football career playing for lowly clubs in Badajoz, as his family hailed from Olivenza (Extremadura). Being still a junior he signed with local CD Badajoz, and made his professional debuts midway through the 1992–93 campaign in the second division.
At the beginning of 1995–96, de Paula moved back to his native region to play for La Liga side Real Sociedad. His first game came on 10 September 1995, playing three minutes of a 3–0 home win against Sporting de Gijón; he went on to play 11 seasons at the former, all of them in the top flight.
De Paula's time as a player for Real Sociedad was very successful although he was never a regular starter, more often than not scoring goals after coming in as a substitute, and usually made a good goals scored/minutes played ratio. Through 1999 to 2001 he netted nine goals in each season, but only appeared in 11 contests in 2002–03 as they finished runner-up and, in his last year, managed just six matches (280 minutes) with three goals.
In June 2006, de Paula's contract expired and he left and moved south to Cádiz CF in the second level, "descending" yet another tier at the end of 2007–08 after joining SD Ponferradina, scoring 32 league goals in his first two seasons combined (16 apiece).
De Paula netted 11 times in 25 games in the 2009–10 campaign as the Castile and León team returned to division two after a three-year absence. However, Ponfe would be immediately relegated back and, aged 36, he announced his professional retirement due to a recurrent knee injury, having appeared in 444 league matches both major levels combined and scored 114 goals.
- La cifra goleadora más sorprendente de Leo Messi (Leo Messi's most surprising scoring statistic); Sport, 16 October 2016 (in Spanish)
- De Paula signs out at Real Sociedad; UEFA.com, 9 June 2006
- Óscar de Paula se retira del fútbol tras 21 temporadas como professional (Óscar de Paula retires from football after 21 seasons as a professional); El Diario Vasco, 31 May 2011 (in Spanish)