Paulo Fonseca

Paulo Fonseca
Fonseca with Shakhtar in 2017
Personal information
Full name Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Fonseca
Date of birth (1973-03-05) 5 March 1973
Place of birth Nampula, Mozambique
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Shakhtar Donetsk (coach)
Youth career
1982–1983 Galitos
1983–1984 UD Vila Chã
1985–1986 Santoantoniense
1986–1991 Barreirense
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Barreirense 91 (6)
1995–1998 Porto 0 (0)
1995–1996Leça (loan) 22 (0)
1996–1997Belenenses (loan) 27 (1)
1997–1998Marítimo (loan) 31 (2)
1998–2000 Vitória Guimarães 6 (0)
2000–2005 Estrela Amadora 72 (4)
Total 249 (13)
Teams managed
2005–2007 Estrela Amadora (youth)
2007–2008 1º Dezembro
2008–2009 Odivelas
2009–2011 Pinhalnovense
2011–2012 Aves
2012–2013 Paços Ferreira
2013–2014 Porto
2014–2015 Paços Ferreira
2015–2016 Braga
2016– Shakhtar Donetsk
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Fonseca (born 5 March 1973) is a former Portuguese professional footballer who played as a central defender, and is the current manager of Ukrainian club FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 111 games and three goals over the course of seven seasons, most notably with Estrela da Amadora. In 2005, he became a manager.

Playing career

Born in Nampula, Portuguese Mozambique, Fonseca played 14 years as a senior, beginning with F.C. Barreirense in the third division and moving straight to the Primeira Liga with Leça F.C. in the 1995–96 season, starting in 21 of his league appearances as the club finished 14th and narrowly avoided relegation. In the following five years he continued in the latter competition, being first-choice with C.F. Os Belenenses and C.S. Marítimo but only a backup with Vitória S.C. and C.F. Estrela da Amadora.[1][2]

Fonseca retired in June 2005 at the age of 32 after a further four campaigns with Estrela, three of those spent in the second level. In the 2003–04 campaign he participated in 15 games as the Lisbon side ranked dead last in the top tier, with the subsequent relegation.[2]

Coaching career

Fonseca started coaching immediately after retiring, remaining two years at the helm of Estrela da Amadora's youths. From 2007 to 2011 he was in charge of several modest teams, notably C.D. Pinhalnovense which he led to the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal in both the 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons.[3][4]

In 2011–12, Fonseca was appointed at C.D. Aves in division two for his first job in the professionals,[5] and he led the team to the third position, just two points shy of promotion. In the following campaign he signed for F.C. Paços de Ferreira, again finishing third to qualify the club for their maiden campaign in the UEFA Champions League; highlights included winning both games against S.C. Braga (2–0 at home, 3–2 away) and Sporting Clube de Portugal (1–0 on both occasions).[6][7]

Fonseca succeeded Vítor Pereira at the helm of back-to-back-to-back national champions FC Porto, signing a two-year contract on 10 June 2013.[8][9] He started his spell on a high note, winning the year's Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira after a 3–0 triumph against Vitória de Guimarães which marked his first honour as a coach.[10][11]

However, on 5 March 2014, following a string of poor results that left the club in the third position in the league, nine points behind leaders S.L. Benfica, Fonseca was relieved of his duties.[12] Previously, on 12 January, he had stated that Porto would be champions in the last matchday against Benfica.[13]

From 2014 to 2016, Fonseca continued working in his country's top flight, with Paços[14] and S.C. Braga.[15] He led the latter to the fourth position, also winning the domestic cup.[16]

On 31 May 2016, Fonseca moved abroad for the first time in his career, replacing legendary Mircea Lucescu (12 seasons) at the helm of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and signing a two-year contract at the Ukrainian Premier League side.[17][18] He won the national championship in his first two seasons, also winning the double in 2016–17 – which earned him the distinction as the league's best coach[19]– and reaching the round of 16 of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League[20] after finishing second in the group stage following a 2–1 home win over Premier League side Manchester City.[21]

Managerial statistics

As of 15 August 2018[22][23]
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Aves 2011 2012 38 16 16 6 49 29 +20 042.11
Paços de Ferreira 2012 2013 41 22 13 6 62 38 +24 053.66
Porto 2013 2014 37 21 9 7 69 31 +38 056.76
Paços de Ferreira 2014 2015 39 14 12 13 58 53 +5 035.90
Braga 2015 2016 57 29 15 13 90 58 +32 050.88
Shakhtar Donetsk 2016 Present 99 76 9 14 207 78 +129 076.77
Career totals 311 178 74 59 535 287 +248 057.23



Shakhtar Donetsk



  1. "Fonseca" (in Portuguese). Glórias do Passado. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Antes de ganhar o segundo nome, que é apanágio dos treinadores, Paulo era só o Fonseca, defesa central forte no jogo aéreo, mas a quem faltaram sempre alguma velocidade e mais oportunidades mas sobraram as lesões" [Before earning a surname, which is second nature to coaches, Paulo was just Fonseca, stopper with strong aerial ability, but who always lacked some speed and more opportunities but had injuries to spare.]. i (in Portuguese). 5 March 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  3. "Um mar de emoções no regresso dos heróis" [Sea of emotions in return of heroes]. Record (in Portuguese). 13 December 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  4. "A carreira de Paulo Fonseca" [The career of Paulo Fonseca]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 10 June 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  5. "Paulo Fonseca é o novo treinador" [Paulo Fonseca is the new manager]. Record (in Portuguese). 7 June 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  6. "Pacos packing a punch in Portugal". FIFA. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  7. "Paços vence Sporting (1–0) e aproxima-se do sonho" [Paços beat Sporting (1–0) and come closer to dream] (in Portuguese). F.C. Paços Ferreira. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  8. "Paulo Fonseca appointed new Porto coach". PortuGOAL. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  9. "Porto appoint Fonseca". FIFA. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Porto win Supertaça in style". PortuGOAL. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  11. "FC Porto e Vitória de Guimarães disputam 35.ª edição em Aveiro" [FC Porto and Vitória de Guimarães challenge 35th edition in Aveiro] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  12. "Oficial: Paulo Fonseca saiu, Luís Castro é o treinador" [Official: Paulo Fonseca left, Luís Castro is the manager] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  13. "Fonseca: "Na última jornada seremos campeões"" [Fonseca: "In last matchday we will be champions"] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  14. "Paços de Ferreira confirma regresso de Paulo Fonseca" [Paços de Ferreira confirm return of Paulo Fonseca] (in Portuguese). Porto 24. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  15. "Braga oficializa Paulo Fonseca" [Braga make Paulo Fonseca official]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 1 July 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  16. 1 2 "Sp. Braga vence Taça de Portugal" [Sp. Braga win Portuguese Cup] (in Portuguese). Rádio Renascença. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  17. "Paulo Fonseca is Shakhtar head coach". Shakhtar Donetsk. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  18. "Oficial. Paulo Fonseca confirmado no Shakhtar" [Official. Paulo Fonseca confirmed at Shakhtar] (in Portuguese). Rádio Renascença. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  19. 1 2 3 4 "Paulo Fonseca: depois da dobradinha, o primeiro prémio" [Paulo Fonseca: after the double, the first award]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 6 June 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  20. "Roma 1–0 Shakhtar Donetsk". BBC Sport. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  21. "Shakhtar Donetsk 2–1 Manchester City". BBC Sport. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  22. "Paulo Fonseca". Zerozero. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  23. Paulo Fonseca coach profile at Soccerway
  24. "VÍDEO: Paulo Fonseca conquista a Supertaça da Ucrânia" [VIDEO: Paulo Fonseca conquers Ukrainian Supercup] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
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