Paulo Machado: The captain who led Mumbai City FC to their second ISL playoffs

Paulo Machado's leadership quality and expertise at managing the game from the middle of the park will be integral to Mumbai City FC in the upcoming seasons

Paulo Machado: The captain who led Mumbai City FC to their second ISL playoffs

During the Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 season, Jorge Costa was appointed as the head coach for the franchise, Mumbai City FC. With the arrival of Costa, the club witnessed numerous changes, one among them being, the signing of Portugal international, Paulo Machado. Machado not only managed to become a strength for his side's midfield but also captained Mumbai City FC to the ISL 2018-19 playoffs.

Born in the Porto neighbourhood of Bairro do Cerco on March 31, 1986, Paulo Ricardo Ribeiro de Jesus Machado joined FC Porto's youth system at the age of 14 and made his first-team debut in the 2003–04 edition of the Portuguese Cup, under José Mourinho.

In the summer of 2005, he signed an improved contract until 2010 along with teammate Bruno Vale, before both went on consecutive loans to C.F. Estrela da Amadora and U.D. Leiria.

The 33-year-old began his career at Porto and went on to play for top European clubs like Dynamo Zagreb, Olympiacos and St Etienne. The central midfielder has also represented the Portuguese national team in the past.

As he became an Islander just prior to the Hero ISL 2018-19, Machado took a little time to adjust to the new environment. However, as the season progressed, he became the focal point of Mumbai City FC's midfield. Owing to his captaincy, Mumbai City FC advanced to the semi-finals.

While his captaincy outshined his skills as a player, he contributed individually with two goals and four assists.

Meanwhile, after 2005, in the following two years, Machado was loaned again, to Leixões S.C. and Ligue 1's AS Saint-Étienne respectively. After which, he played a pivotal role along with his teammates, Diogo Valente and Vieirinha, also loaned by Porto, as the Matosinhos side retained their Primeira Liga status at the season's close.

On July 10 2008, Machado was loaned to the French club as part of the deal that brought Colombian Fredy Guarín to Porto. He adapted well and became an integral part of Saint-Étienne's season, scoring twice in his first 16 games – 12 as a starter – and only missing three league matches in the campaign as they narrowly avoided relegation.

Subsequently, on July 2 2009, Toulouse FC signed Machado to a four-year deal.

On August 10 2012, after three seasons in which he averaged 30 games and four goals, he joined Olympiacos F.C. in Greece for €2,700,000 penning a 3+1 contract. He scored his first goal for his new team on November 3, also providing an assist in a 2–0 home win against OFI Crete FC.

On June 4 2014, Machado joined GNK Dinamo Zagreb on a three-year contract, for an undisclosed fee. Later, on 2 September 2017, free agent Machado signed with recently promoted C.D. Aves until the end of the season. On 31 August 2018, he joined Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC.

So far, Mumbai City FC has won a game, drawn one and lost one game in the 2019-20 season of Indian Super League under Machado's leadership.