|Full name||Paulo Almeida Santos|
|Date of birth||20 April 1981|
|Place of birth||Itarantim, Bahia, Brazil|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2010||União Esporte Clube|
|2015||Vitória da Conquista||3||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
A defensive midfielder known for his leadership, he was the captain of the Santos team, dubbed Meninos da Vila, that won the 2002 Brasileirão, their first since 1968. After representing Santos in their first Copa Libertadores Finals in forty years, Almeida had an unsuccessful spell at Benfica between 2004 and 2006. Afterwards, he represented a dozen others teams in Brazil.
Born in Itarantim, Bahia, Almeida career started in the regional futsal leagues, eventually leading to a seven month spell at Cruzeiro in 1997. After being released by Cruzeiro, he returned to futsal and had an impressive performance in a regional tournament. Luciano Lacerda saw him and brought him to Santos. In 2000, the 19-year old made his professional debut in a match against Guarani, and went on establish himself in the first team, replacing Freddy Rincón in the starting eleven. He was described by Pelé as having the same spirit as Zito: "It's always war for him, it's a guy that does not miss a training session because he always wants to be the best. It is funny, how they are coinciding at Santos. He was proven to be a player with future, with lots of personality".
At age 20, he was named captain and in the following year, Almeida and others like Diego, Robinho, Renato and Elano, known as Meninos da Vila, helped Santos win their first Brasileirão since 1968. He remained a team regular in 2003, helping Santos reach their first Copa Libertadores Finals since 1963, losing it to Boca Juniors. In January 2004, Santos tried to renew his contract but Almeida refused. Three months later it was announced that he would move to Benfica on a free transfer when his contract expired. Although he still competed in the early stages of the Brasileirão, in early June, Vanderlei Luxemburgo officially released him.
He made his debut for Benfica in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match with Anderlecht. Despite his recognition in Brazil, Almeida struggled to adjust to the tempo of European football, and by November it was speculated that he would be loaned out. He was offered back to Santos in an unsuccessful bid from Benfica to Robinho, and as the season progressed, he slipped down the pecking order and was demoted to the reserve team. After not finding a team in the summer of 2005, Almeida remained with the B-team and competed in the third tier, until he opted to terminate his contract with Benfica in April 2006.
Almeida returned to Brazil and in June, he signed with Corinthians, reuniting with Émerson Leão. He debuted on 5 August against Clube Atlético Paranaense, and represented the team until July 2007, when he rescinded his contract. His next club was Náutico which he played for between December 2007 and August 2008. subsequently moving to ABC in the later part of 2008. Almeida then changed clubs almost every six months, passing through União Esporte Clube, Goianésia, Rio Branco, Itumbiara, among others.
Almeida represented his national team five times, all of them in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where Brazil sent their under-23 team, because their main team was competing in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. Nevertheless, all the appearances and goals in this tournament were recognized by FIFA as full international caps. Almeida played with team mates, Robinho and Diego, plus others like Kaká and Nilmar, with Brazil reaching the final, where they lost one-nil with Mexico.
- "Paulo Almeida, ídolo de Itarantim" [Paulo Almeida, idol of Itarantim]. Record (in Portuguese). 20 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Lendas aprovam Paulo Almeida" [Legends approve of Paulo Almeida]. Record (in Portuguese). 20 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Luxemburgo "encosta" Paulo Almeida" [Luxemburgo "sidelines" Almeida] (in Portuguese). 1 June 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida acerta rescisão" [Paulo Almeida terminates contract with Santos]. Record (in Portuguese). 3 June 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida: "Importante não sofrer"" [Paulo Almeida: "Important not to concede"]. Record (in Portuguese). 12 August 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida no mercado" [Paulo Almeida transfer listed]. Record (in Portuguese). 24 November 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida: "Prometo apagar má imagem"" [Paulo Almeida: "I promise to improve my bad image"]. Record (in Portuguese). 24 December 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida não quer sair" [Paulo Almeida wants to stay]. Record (in Portuguese). 20 December 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Reforços na equipa B" [B-team gets new reinforcements]. Record (in Portuguese). 24 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida: "Contratação não foi à toa"" [Paulo Almeida: "My signing was not a mistake"]. Record (in Portuguese). 25 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Goleada só apareceu frente aos dispensáveis" [Thrashing only appeared against the reserves]. Record (in Portuguese). 1 September 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida rescinde contrato" [Paulo Almeida rescinds contract with Benfica]. Record (in Portuguese). 24 April 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida lamenta falta de oportunidades" [Paulo Almeida regrets lack of opportunities]. Record (in Portuguese). 25 April 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida, antigo médio do Benfica, é o mais recente reforço do Corinthians" [Paulo Almeida, former Benfica midfielder, is the newest signing of Corinthians]. Diário Digital (in Portuguese). 16 June 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Corinthians perto de acertar com volante Paulo Almeida" [Corinthians close to signing Paulo Almeida]. Clicrbs (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida eufórico com sua estréia no Corinthians" [Paulo Almeida euphoric in debut for Corinthians]. Gazeta do Povo (in Portuguese). 5 August 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida rescinde com Timão" [Paulo Almeida rescinds with Corinthians]. Record (in Portuguese). 1 July 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Almeida é o novo reforço do Timbu" [Paulo Almeida is the new signing of Timbu]. Globoesporte (in Portuguese). 26 December 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Paulo Musse é moeda forte no ABC" [Paulo Musse is leverage of ABC]. Tribuna do Norte (in Portuguese). 28 August 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Que fase! Paulo Almeida, ex-Santos, fecha com clube matogrossense" [What a shock! Paulo Almeida, former Santos players, signs with União Esporte Clube]. Futebol Interior (in Portuguese). 17 January 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Os jogadores ex-União Esporte Clube são os novos reforços do Estrelão para a Serie C do Brasileiro" [The players former União are the new signings of Estrelão for the Série C]. Futebol MT (in Portuguese). 20 April 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Por onde anda Paulo Almeida, campeão brasileiro em 2002?" [Where is 2002 Brazilian champion Paulo Almeida?]. Torcedores.com (in Portuguese). 3 April 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Ricardo Gomes convoca sub-23" [Ricardo Gomes calls under-23 team]. Record (in Portuguese). 2 July 2003. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Seleção Brasileira (Brazilian National Team) 2002–2003". RSSSF. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
- "Ricardo Gomes satisfeito" [Ricardo Gomes satisfied]. Record (in Portuguese). 29 July 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2016.