Paulo arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 when Jose Mourinho paid a then British record £13.2 million fee for a full-back to purchase the defender who had walked the road to Champions League glory with him at Porto.
Both player and manager had also won league titles in Portugal and were immediately into the winning groove in England, Paulo one of the major reasons why the Chelsea defence suffocated so many attacks in that first campaign.
A broken foot in March 2005 removed him from the action but by then he had already won the Carling Cup and played his part on Chelsea's route to a first championship in 50 years and a record-breaking defensive season.
In his second season, he was a less regular choice with William Gallas and later Gérémi often preferred at right-back, though he remained number one choice in the Champions League.
That season Paulo at last scored his first goal since moving to a top-level club, in the FA Cup v Colchester.
In August 2006, Gallas departed with new competition arriving in the shape of Khalid Boulahrouz. Paulo was just as likely to be found at stand-in centre-back as right-back in the early part of 2006/07 but he came back strongly.
In the second half of the campaign he regained the right-back shirt regularly and capped a return to his best form by playing a big part in subduing the celebrated Cristiano Ronaldo in the FA Cup Final. Chelsea won the trophy in the first final played at the new Wembley.
The next season followed a familiar pattern of sporadic activity. Avram Grant selected Paulo in his first side when he took over in September 2007 and the player then shared duties with recently-arrived Juliano Belletti, filling in on the left too when Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge were both out. That was until an injury in Carling Cup action in October led to five weeks on the treatment table himself.
In the closing months of the season, he was increasingly preferred to the more attacking nature of Belletti, however Michael Essien was the right-back selected for the 2008 Champions League Final in Moscow, the Portuguese not even making the bench.
Having signed a new five-year contract in February 2008, Paulo might have been looking forward to working under his former international coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, but a sign of things to come came on the opening day of the campaign, as he played just seven minutes as a substitute for new arrival José Bosingwa.
It wasn't until Guus Hiddink's arrival in February 2009 that Ferreira started a Premier League game, covering for Ashley Cole at left-back after Wayne Bridge's departure had made him the main back-up on that side of the defence.
Paulo had fallen behind both Bosingwa and the versatile Branislav Ivanovic in the queue for his preferred right-back role, Bosingwa also taking over his starting place on the right of the national team defence. In total there were 3 starts and 9 sub appearances in the 2008/09 season which ended three months early due to a cruciate ligament injury.
To return in a little over six months, as he did when he played 90 minutes against QPR in the Carling Cup in September 2009, showed tremendous commitment to a professional career that had slowed.
He continued to figure in the Carling Cup, and even found the net from close range at Blackburn, only his second goal in a Chelsea shirt and the third of his career.
Had he been registered for the Champions League, where the squad was limited to 25 and had to include a quota of home-grown players, Paulo would surely have seen further action in the San Siro, where Florent Malouda played at left-back in a 2-1 defeat to Inter.
As Chelsea headed towards an historic Double under Carlo Ancelotti and with Ivanovic and Bosingwa both injured, Paulo played a crucially disciplined defensive role in the win at Old Trafford that took the team back to the top of the table. He played the FA Cup semi-final win over Villa too and 10 straight starts in domestic games saw him let nobody down, and although he played no part after the 7-0 thrashing of Stoke in late April, he had done enough to earn his two winners' medals from the season.
He began 2010/11 in the team but soon Ivanovic, and later in the season when fit-again, Bosingwa, were preferred choices although Paulo was controversially selected by Ancelotti in central defence rather than young Jeffrey Bruma for what proved to be a heavy home defeat by Sunderland.
Starts were infrequent in the second half of the campaign but among the 29 appearances he made the season came his 200th for the club.
The veteran defender's appearances in 2011/12 were both limited and sporadic, with competition for the right-back berth tough, although Paulo remained a dependable member of the squad for both Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo. He was called upon after half an hour at White Hart Lane in December and, much to the Tottenham fans' surprise, kept the hosts at bay with a fine man-marking display that reminded many of his reliable input to our past title-winning campaigns.
He was also involved from the start in our Champions League quarter-final first leg against Benfica in Lisbon, once again putting in a solid performance as the Blues defence kept the Portuguese side at bay, eventually succumbing to cramp after about 80 minutes.
Ferreira was handed his first start of the current campaign in the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in February, while also filling in at left-back in the 3-2 defeat against Rubin Kazan in in the Europa League quarter-final second leg.
Paulo began his career at Estoril-Praia close to his birthplace, before moving on to Vitoria Setubal in 2000. Following impressive performances in the Portuguese first division, he secured a move to Porto where his global reputation started to grow. He won the league, cup and finally the Uefa Cup to cap a remarkable first season at the club, before going on to feature in every minute of Porto's Champions League-winning campaign in his second year.
With consistent and solid defending, the young Paulo had become an international within six months of signing for Porto from lower table side Vitória Setubal, his debut in 2002 coming in a friendly against England at Villa Park.
However his nation's big party in the summer of Euro 2004 fell flat for him. He was dropped by the host nation's manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, after a mistake in the opening game, only returning midway through Portugal's defeat by Greece in the tournament's final.
However he had been voted the best right-back in Europe the previous season and immediately became first choice for Portugal again on arriving at Chelsea.
Later he had to adapt at international level to become Portugal's first choice at left-back, a position he filled throughout Euro 2008 until the quarter-final defeat by Germany, and with some justification, he could point to a push by club-mate Michael Ballack when attempting to defend the winning goal.
Two years later at the World Cup in South Africa he played just one game and retired from international football soon after with 62 caps to his name.