The Brazil international midfielder completed his £17million switch from Corinthians to Spurs on Saturday.
Seven years ago, at the age of 17, he travelled from his homeland to sign for Lithuanian club FC Vilnius and after two seasons there, he moved on to Polish outfit LKS Lodz.
However, Paulinho was subjected to incidents of racist abuse in eastern Europe and having been repeatedly fielded at right-back, he returned to Brazil after just one campaign in the Ekstraklasa.
His career then flourished again, particularly since he signed for Corinthians in 2010 where his impressive all-round game earned him international recognition a year later.
Paulinho has since gone on to star for club and country at the FIFA Club World Cup and Confederations Cup tournaments, resulting in his transfer to White Hart Lane.
"After all I had been through, all those bad moments, bad things, I carried on. I knew about my potential," he explained.
"I knew what I could do. Never mind where you are, you have to fight until the end. It's important you never give up.
"I went back to Brazil and started from scratch. I had the self-confidence to take that step back and then managed to take two steps forward," he added to The Sun.