Paulo Fonseca Profile
|Born||Mar 05, 1973|
Paulo Fonseca's coaching career has been a slow-burner but it appears to have helped him catch the eye of several managerless Premier League clubs.
Paulo Fonseca is a Portuguese soccer manager and former player. He last managed AS Roma and is now a free agent.
Fonseca played senior soccer for 14 years in Portugal for multiple teams as a centre-back. He played 111 games in the Primeira Liga, the top league in Portugal. However, he was never much more than a reliable team player.
After his playing career ended at 32 in 2005, he went straight into coaching with the team he retired with, Estrela Amadora, giving him an opportunity.
Fonseca built his managerial reputation in Portugal before taking the reins at Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in 2016.
In 2019, he left Ukraine for Italy, becoming AS Roma's head coach. After two years in charge and a underwhelming seventh place in 2021, Fonseca decided it was time to move on.
Now looking for another club, Fonseca is attracting interest from across Europe, with Tottenham Hotspur hotly tipped to be his next destination.
Fonseca started his career in 1991 with FC Barreirense in Portugal's third tier. He played for them for four years, appearing 91 times and scoring six goals.
His form secured him a move into the top tier with Porto. However, despite being with the club for three years, he never once played for them, being sent out on loan all three years.
His first loan spell saw him make 21 starts for Leca FC as the club narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight.
His remained in the Primeira Liga with his next two loans seeing him make 27 appearaces for CF Os Belenenses, scoring once, and CS Maritimo where he scored twice in 31 games.
Following his release from Porto in 1998, he moved to Vitoria Guimaraes, spending two years there and making just six appearances.
His then spent five years with Estrela Amadora, first in the Primeira Liga and then in the second tier after their relegation in 2003. He made 72 appearances in that time, scoring four goals.
Becoming a manager - getting started in Portugal
Fonseca's first coaching opportunity came with his final playing club, Estrela Amadora, who put him in charge of the youth side from 2005 to 2007.
He then moved on to first-team coaching, taking CD Pinhalnovense to the quarter-finals of the Taca de Portugal in 2009/10 and 2010/11.
With his reputation growing, Fonseca was given his first role at a professional club, securing the head coach job at CD Aves. In his only full season at the club, he led them to third place in the second tier, only two points off promotion.
The following season he took a role with Primeira Liga side Pacos Ferreira, guiding them to third place and a first-ever Champions League spot.
Fonseca took over from Vítor Pereira at champions Porto in 2013.
His term started off on a high, winning the Supertaca Candido de Oliveira to earn his first piece of silverware as a coach. However, a poor run of results saw the side slip to third place, nine points behind leaders Benfica, and on March 5, 2014 Fonseca was relieved of his duties.
Following his firing at Porto, he spent the next two years still in the top flight. He first went back to Pacos Ferreira for one season before moving to Braga for the 2015/16 campaign, going on to win the Taca de Portugal.
In 2016, Fonseca took on his first role outside Portugal as head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk.
In all three seasons there, he led Shakhtar to the league and cup double, while he was voted the league's best coach in 2016/17.
He also achieved moderate success in the Champions League, reaching the round-of-16 in 2017/18. This followed a second-placed finish in their group where, notably, they beat Manchester City 2-1.
On June 11, 2019, Fonseca was appointed AS Roma's new head coach. In his first season at the helm, Roma finished fifth in the league and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The following season they slid down to seventh, while bowing out of the Coppa Italia in the round-of-16.
Despite once again reaching the Europa League semi-finals - where they lost 8-5 on aggregate to eventual runner-ups Manchester United - Fonseca and the club announced on May 4 that they would be parting ways. Jose Mourinho was brought in as his replacement.
Fonseca was born in Nampula, Mozambique, which was at the time a colony of Portugal. It gained independence two years later.
He lived in Mozambique until he was 14 before moving to Barreiro, Portugal, a small town of 80,000 people not far from Lisbon.
Before Fonseca's appointment as Roma manager, the Italian Press reported that he was set to be offered a three-year deal that would pay him €2.5million a year.