Former Arsenal Star Gabriel Paulista Joins Besiktas from Atlético Madrid On Free Transfer

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Former Arsenal star Gabriel Paulista has made a surprising move to Besiktas from Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.

The 34-year-old defender had expressed his desire to return to Valencia, his former club, but ultimately ended up joining the Turkish side.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano also confirmed his departure from Atletico Madrid after a brief and uneventful four-month spell with the Spanish club.

Gabriel had joined Atletico in January after parting ways with Valencia, but his time there was plagued by injuries, limiting him to just five appearances under manager Diego Simeone.

Despite hopes for a return to Spain, Gabriel has opted to continue his career with Besiktas, stepping outside the comfort of the top five European leagues for the first time.

It remains to be seen how he will adjust to this new challenge and whether he can regain his form to become a key player for his new team.

Who is Gabriel Paulista?

Gabriel Paulista is a Brazilian professional footballer who recently joins Besiktas as a center-back.

Gabriel Paulista football career

He began his career with Vitória in 2010, winning two Campeonato Baiano titles and finishing as runner-up in the 2010 Copa do Brasil.

He also spent a season-and-a-half in Spain’s top flight with Villarreal before joining Arsenal in January 2015.

Having won two FA Cups, he moved to Valencia in August 2017. He made over 200 appearances for Valencia, winning the Copa del Rey in 2019.

On 31 January 2024, Gabriel Paulista joined fellow La Liga club Atlético Madrid on a free transfer, signing a contract until the end of the season.

After his short stint at Madrid, the Brazilian defender officially joined Besiktas on a free transfer on Saturday, June 15.

Gabriel Paulista’s international career

Gabriel Paulista received his first call-up to the Brazil national team on 20 March 2015, stepping in for the injured David Luiz for friendly matches against France and Chile. Despite being called up, he did not play in either match.

On 9 December 2020, Gabriel Paulista became a Spanish citizen through residency and expressed his willingness to play for the Spain national team.

Gabriel’s family life

Gabriel is a native of Sao Paolo in Brazil.

During his childhood, his family’s extreme poverty forced them to rely on bricks and branches scavenged from the remnants of the Brazilian rainforest as their main source of sustenance.

According to reports, this diet resulted in a severe calcium deficiency for him.

It was not until he signed his first professional football contract and was placed on a regimen of cheese, milk, and sour-cream Pringles that his bone density finally improved.

Gabriel Paulista’s salary and net worth

Gabriel Paulista reportedly earns £79,000 per week, equivalent of £4,108,000 per year.

The 34-year-old net worth is £31,408,000.

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