|Full name||Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Fonseca|
|Date of birth||5 March 1973|
|Place of birth||Nampula, Mozambique|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|1983–1984||UD Vila Chã|
|1995–1996||→ Leça (loan)||22||(0)|
|1996–1997||→ Belenenses (loan)||27||(1)|
|1997–1998||→ Marítimo (loan)||31||(2)|
|2005–2007||Estrela Amadora (youth)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 111 matches and three goals over seven seasons, mainly with Estrela da Amadora. He became a manager in 2005, notably winning the 2015–16 Taça de Portugal with Braga as well as three editions of the Ukrainian Premier League with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Born in Nampula, Portuguese Mozambique to a military father, Fonseca was a year old when his family relocated to Barreiro following the Carnation Revolution. He played 14 years as a senior, beginning with his adopted hometown's F.C. Barreirense in the third division and moving straight to the Primeira Liga with Leça F.C. in the 1995–96 season, starting in 21 of his league appearances as the club finished 14th and narrowly avoided relegation. In the following five years he continued in the latter competition, being first choice with C.F. Os Belenenses and C.S. Marítimo but only a backup with Vitória S.C. and C.F. Estrela da Amadora.
Fonseca retired in June 2005 at the age of 32 after a further four campaigns with Estrela, three of those spent in the Segunda Liga. In the 2003–04 campaign he participated in 15 games as the Lisbon side ranked last in the top tier, with the subsequent relegation.
Early years / Paços Ferreira
Fonseca started coaching immediately after retiring, remaining two years at the helm of Estrela da Amadora's youths. From 2007 to 2011 he was in charge of several modest teams, notably C.D. Pinhalnovense which he led to the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal in both the 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons.
In 2011–12, Fonseca was appointed at C.D. Aves in division two for his first job in the professionals, and he led the team to the third position, just two points shy of promotion. In the following campaign he signed for F.C. Paços de Ferreira, again finishing third to qualify the club for their maiden campaign in the UEFA Champions League; highlights included winning both games against S.C. Braga (2–0 at home, 3–2 away) and Sporting CP (1–0 on both occasions).
Fonseca succeeded Vítor Pereira at FC Porto – winners of the last three league titles – when he signed a two-year contract on 10 June 2013. He started his spell on a high note, winning the year's Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira after a 3–0 victory over Vitória de Guimarães which marked his first honour as a coach.
However, on 5 March 2014, following a string of poor results that left the club in the third position in the league, nine points behind leaders S.L. Benfica, Fonseca was relieved of his duties. Previously, on 12 January, he had stated that Porto would be champions in the last matchday against that opponent.
Paços return / Braga
On 11 June 2014, Fonseca returned to Paços de Ferreira His one season back at the Estádio da Mata Real resulted in an 8th-place finish, missing out on UEFA Europa League qualification on the final day.
Fonseca moved abroad for the first time in his career on 31 May 2016, replacing legendary Mircea Lucescu (12 seasons) at the helm of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and signing a two-year contract at the Ukrainian Premier League side. He won the double in all three seasons of his spell– which earned him the distinction as the league's best coach in 2016–17.
Fonseca's side reached the round of 16 of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, after finishing second in the group stage following a 2–1 home defeat of Premier League club Manchester City. Having inflicted a first defeat in 29 matches of Pep Guardiola's side, he kept a promise to do his next press conference dressed as the fictional hero Zorro.
On 11 June 2019, Fonseca was appointed manager of A.S. Roma. He led the side to the fifth place in the Serie A in his first season, as well as the semi-finals of the subsequent Europa League. He announced his departure in May 2021.
Immediately after leaving Roma, Fonseca was director Fabio Paratici's top choice to be manager of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. However, the advanced negotiations were scrapped on 17 June 2021, due to tax issues. In October, he was interviewed by Newcastle United following their Saudi-led takeover, before the interest shifted to Unai Emery and Eddie Howe; his name was then linked to a third English club, Aston Villa.
At Shakhtar and Roma, Fonseca preferred a 4–2–3–1 formation and an emphasis on dominating possession. At both teams, the player behind the centre forward played as a second striker; Henrikh Mkhitaryan achieved 13 goals in 2020–21 from that position.
|1º Dezembro||1 July 2007||30 June 2008||34||13||11||10||39||32||+7||38.24|
|Odivelas||30 June 2008||1 July 2009||35||11||10||14||44||46||−2||31.43|
|Pinhalnovense||1 July 2009||7 June 2011||72||33||21||18||98||68||+30||45.83|
|Aves||7 June 2011||30 May 2012||38||16||16||6||49||29||+20||42.11|
|Paços de Ferreira||30 May 2012||9 June 2013||41||22||13||6||62||38||+24||53.66|
|Porto||10 June 2013||5 March 2014||37||21||9||7||69||31||+38||56.76|
|Paços de Ferreira||10 June 2014||1 July 2015||39||14||12||13||58||53||+5||35.90|
|Braga||1 July 2015||31 May 2016||57||29||15||13||90||58||+32||50.88|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||31 May 2016||11 June 2019||139||103||19||17||295||112||+183||74.10|
|Roma||11 June 2019||30 June 2021||102||53||22||27||195||139||+56||51.96|
- Ukrainian Premier League: 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19
- Ukrainian Cup: 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19
- Ukrainian Super Cup: 2017