The people of Murphy are proud of their professional footballers. There is a mural in the town dedicated to them. It includes Mauricio, Paulo and his father, Daniel, who played for Argentine giants River Plate.
“Football is a small world!” smiled Paulo, now 25 and with six years in England under his belt. “In Murphy, everyone knows each other. It’s a small town, and like a family. They are not just happy for us two (Paulo and Mauricio), there are 11, 12 of us and still more players coming from there. It’s like a little football factory!
“I played three years in Valencia and when I finished that contract, I moved to Gillingham for a trial. I was there for one month and they signed me. My English wasn’t the best so it took a little time but after six months I started to play and at the end of the season, Southampton came and asked if I wanted to join them.
“Now I’m at Spurs! It feels amazing! I’m so happy and excited to start training with the lads because this is an amazing Club, the facilities are unbelievable and I’m happy and excited to be here.”
Having signed a five-year deal, Paulo will now renew acquaintances with Mauricio and his coaching staff, including goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez, after spending a couple of years with them at Southampton.
“I knew them well and they work like I like to, always pushing you to be the best and take your best to compete at the maximum level,” said Paulo. “I’m happy because I like that work. I want to keep improving. Toni is a very good coach, he always tries to push you.”
Paulo will now train daily with the likes of Spurs and France captain Hugo Lloris and Dutch international Michel Vorm. “It’s amazing, amazing. They are two unbelievable goalkeepers and I have to learn a lot from them.”
As for his targets, Paulo added: “I’m realistic. Hugo Lloris is a top goalkeeper, one of the best in the world and my goal at the moment is to keep training, to give it my best and try to improve every day. I’m at the right Club to keep improving."