Carvalho started his career in his native state of Rio Grande do Sul at Sport Club Internacional before transferring to CSKA Moscow. In 2005, he became the first foreign player to be named Russian Footballer of the Year by Futbol and Sport-Express. Carvalho's brilliant play during the 2005 UEFA Cup was the key to success of his team, who won the competition, defeating Sporting Lisbon in the Final. This made CSKA the first Russian club to ever win a UEFA competition. He was Man of the Match in the final as he was involved in all three of CSKA's goals. He scored in the 3–1 UEFA Super Cup lost to then European Champions Liverpool, but despite this defeat, Carvalho had shown he could cope on the European stage. In November 2007, Carvalho signed a new contract with CSKA until summer 2010, according to CSKA president Yevgeni Giner (or until December 2009, according to CSKA Press Office), with the option of further prolongation and the minimum fee release clause. However, he went on a six-month loan back to SC Internacional in July 2008. Since then he has returned to CSKA and hopes to recapture the form which propelled the Muscovite club to UEFA Cup honours in 2005. On 4 January 2010, Qatari club Al-Arabi Sports Club have signed the Brazilian attacking midfielder from PFC CSKA Moscow.
Carvalho was called up for a friendly between Brazil and Norway on 16 August 2006 for the first time. He started the match and scored on his debut, and took part in the following 3–0 defeat of Argentina on 3 September. He also scored in the 4–0 win in an unofficial friendly match against Kuwaiti club Al Kuwait on 7 October 2006.