Well, i don't know where to start. Beside the fact that this review of Fut Birthday Paulinho is my first player review ever written, Paulinho is just great. But let me begin at the start.
When I saw the Fut Birthday Team 2 players, i didn't plan to get Paulinho for my team. I thought this card looks good, but it won't work with my actual team. So as always when I got some packs, i let my girlfriend open them, for possibly extra luck. So I got this famous 83+x25 Pack out of Icon Swaps 2 which she opened.. and surprise there was my boy Paulinho walking out and dancing on the screen. So I was very happy. But behind him, there was also a golden Brazilian LF, named Neymar. So if the game already gives me those 2 in one pack, I knew that I should try them both. One thing I can already tell you before talking about the stats: do you know the story of the dad who did not want to get a cat but then those two are inseparable? Well that is the casewith Paulinho and me.
I used Paulinho for 29 games in Rivals, mostly Division 4 and some games Division 5. He mostly played on the left CM position in a 4-3-2-1 and at the same position in a 4-1-2-1-2, with a shadow chemistry style. He played in midfield together with 88 Petit (later changed to Moments Guardiola and later 83 Duncan) and 87 CDM Bruno Guimaraes. I didn't have any expectations at all before starting to play with him, only that I hoped to see an all rounded performer, based on his stats that seemed to be quiet awesome.
Well, 81 Pace is surely not crazy fast, but in my case, he had 91 Pace with the shadow chem style. I didn't played him with any other chem style, so I only have this experience. He is no Mbappé who tries to break the sonic barrier every time he gets the ball, but it's totally enough to get fast attacks started and to come back fast too.
Just look at those stats, I think I don't need to say anymore. Nearly every shot he is taking is going to be dangerous and when he is near the goal, the ball will smash into the net. And if you got a corner or if he is just upfront when (counter-) attacking, just get the ball to him and he will head it together with the goalkeeper into your opponents goal. A big part of the goals scored by him, were scored with his head.
Its just solid. Gets every ball to the nearby or even upfront player without problems. Even in games I struggled to get balls trough because of the gameplay, he still managed to deliver most of his passes. Only the 76 CROSSING together with the 75 CURVE seems not so good, but in game he delivered very good crosses, so for me, nothing to criticize.
His dribbling is great, but he is still no Neymar. I'll have to admit that im not the most dribbling player, but when I tried, he did a really good job.
This guy is just not normal. When going back or when he needs to defend, he gets nearly every ball. His tackles and his defensive positioning were always on point. It's like he became the Chinese wall, by his time playing in the Chinese FA Super L.
Like I have already written, this guy not only head the ball into your opponents goal, he also clears it away when necessary. 98 JUMPING as a base stat, its just ridiculous. And with his 98 STAMINA, you will even see him running around at the after party.
4* Skills/5* Weak Foot
He got all you need. I'm not a really skill based player, so I just used the basics. It's not happening very often that I try to channel my inner DhTekKz. But when I am doing, he is solid.
In overall, I would say that Paulinho is totally worth a try. The amount of times, he got awarded beeing the best player of the game, was just surprising. Not surprising because of his stats, but because of how fast he took over my game with his appearance. Even when I did loose a game, he still managed to get the best rating of both teams. For (at the moment) a bit more than 200k coins, he is totally worth his money. He is a very well rounded player, who who will always be there were you want him. His high/high Work Rates paired with his nearly unlimited stamina are doing the rest. Only when trying to sprint away against faster players, you need to use his body as a block to gain advantage and it works even against Kyle Walker and his friends. Before the other player figures out how to get around this moving wall, you are already near the goal.
It took some games for me to get used to him, but when I already thought about getting another player for him in my starting squad, he took my game by storm. And if possible, he will stay a very long time in my starting squad. And that he scored more goals in 29 games than his mate Neymar, while securing everything defensively, only makes him even more outstanding.
looking at his stats, nearly everything
probably a little lack of pace, when you don't boost it with a chemistry style
links (he almost needs to be linked with the same nation or icons, which can be expensive and restrictive)
Paulinho is amazing for his price - if he was in a major league he would be worth at least half a million. He isn't that difficult to link - especially if you have icons, and he gets good links to META players such as Neymar. He has no obvious weaknesses but I wouldn't regard him as completely META or end-game, but again for the price he is the best midfielder on the market. His best position is either CDM or as a box-to-box CM and would be best next to a faster, more agile player such as Renato Sanches or Kante.
Strong - his body type feels lean in-game, Busquets esque but he definitely can dominate the midfield, winning most areal battles
Shooting - he has one of the best shots in the game of any midfielder - he can score long-shots and is clinical in the box
Passing - no issues, not as silky as a Thiago or Xavi but he can thread great through balls to the attack
Defending - I'd upgrade his defending if you were playing him CDM, but as a CM it is ideal already - great standing tackle
Weak Foot - the best thing about this card is that he can play anywhere across the midfield well due to his 5* weak-foot
Pace - he is definitely not slow, but he doesn't feel rapid in-game, even with a shadow
Dribbling - doesn't feel that agile or responsive, but again he is capable of beating his man
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