Men's First Team


  • Paulo


    Birth Date:05 March 1973

    Birth Place:Maputo, Mozambico


    Coach since:2005

    At AC Milan since:2024


    Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Fonseca was born on 5 March 1973 in Nampula, Mozambique, but moved to Portugal with his family at an early age following the Carnation Revolution. He developed as a player in his adopted hometown, Barreiro, playing as a defender for local club Barreirense before making his Primeira Liga debut with Leça in 1995/96. In the following campaigns, Fonseca broke onto the scene during spells with two other Portuguese clubs, Belenenses and Marítimo, playing regularly for both sides. A two-year stint at Vitória Guimarães followed though he found his playing time reduced. He then concluded his playing career in 2004 after four years with Estrela da Amadora, split between the top two tiers of Portuguese football.


    Paulo Fonseca stayed at Estrela da Amadora for his first foray into coaching, taking a job in their youth system. His first experience as a head coach in men’s first-team football was with 1° Dezembro, after which he moved around various clubs in the lower tiers of Portuguese football. His most noteworthy achievement in this period was reaching the Taça de Portugal quarter-finals with Pinhalnovense in 2009/10 and 2010/11. His first experience in a professional dug-out came at Desportivo das Aves, with whom he narrowly missed promotion to the top flight in 2011/12. His performance with Aves earned him plenty of interest from clubs in the Primeira Liga. The first club to come calling was Paços de Ferreira, who he guided to a historic qualification for the Champions League play-off round. He would return to the club following a brief spell at Porto, having won a Supertaça title with the Dragões. In the summer of 2015, he moved to Braga, earned a fourth-place finish and performed admirably in cup competitions, reaching the Europa League quarter-final and winning the Taça de Portugal for the first time in the club’s 50-year history with a victory over Porto in the final. That campaign saw Fonseca earn his first job on foreign soil as he joined Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. He spent three successful seasons with Shakhtar, winning the league and cup double in all of them and beating Manchester City on the way to the Champions League round of 16 in 2018. In 2019, Fonseca was named head coach of Roma, with whom he finished fifth in his first season and reached the Europa League semi-final in 2020/21. He moved to a third club abroad in the summer of 2022 when he joined LOSC Lille. In his two seasons in France, he guided Les Dogues to a fifth and then fourth-place finish and the Conference League quarter-finals.

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