West Ham United are pleased to announce the signing of Brazilian striker Wellington Paulista.
The 29-year-old has joined the Hammers on an initial six-month loan deal from Brazilian Serie A club Cruzeiro, with the option for a further three years.
Paulista has enjoyed a prolific career since joining the Belo Horizonte-based side from Botafogo in 2009, netting 39 goals in 110 Serie A and Copa Libertadores matches, plus 36 in 50 State Championship, Brazilian Cup and other matches.
The versatile forward, who holds an EU passport and will therefore not require a work permit, is aiming to make his mark in English football.
WATCH WELLINGTON PAULISTA ON WEST HAM TV
"I am really happy to be here at West Ham United," he told West Ham TV. "Everyone has been very kind to me since I have been at the club this week. I think I can do my best here and I am coming to England to prove to everyone that I am one of the best strikers in Brazil and to get better and better.
"I am strong, I am a fighter and I can score with both feet. I run a lot on the pitch and I can play as either as first or second striker."
Having played in the Brazilian Serie A, Copa Libertadores and scored against Barcelona in the Camp Nou, Paulista is used to performing in a high-pressure environment. For that reason, the Barclays Premier League holds no fears.
"The pressure will not be a problem for me because I am used to it from my time in Brazil, where the fans were really addicted to the club. The manager also put pressure on the players too, so it will be the same playing here.
"What I am interested in is the passion of the supporters for their team, the way they keep going with the club and the way they make the players perform better."
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan welcomed Paulista to the Boleyn Ground, suggesting the player could have the same impact as a number of the Board's previous striker signings.
He said: "I'd like to welcome Wellington Paulista to east London and West Ham United. He is another exciting player to add to our squad and although he may not be that well known on these shores, he comes with an excellent track record in Brazil. His arrival is similar to some of the other 'wildcard' players we have signed before like in Demba Ba and Ilan. They both made significant contributions and if he can match their efforts he will be an excellent acquisition for West Ham United."
WATCH WELLINGTON PAULISTA IN ACTION HERE AND HERE
Born in Sao Paulo, Paulista joined Clube Atletico Juventus in his home city as a schoolboy before gaining first-team experience with Mirassol, Parana and Santos, scoring nine goals in 30 appearances for Pele's former club.
The 6'0 tall forward's goalscoring form at Santos tempted Spanish side Deportivo Alaves to bring him to Europe in 2006, for whom he scored a fine goal in a Copa del Rey tie with Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Paulista returned to Brazil with Serie A side Botafogo in 2008, netting seven league goals in 28 appearances as the club won the Rio Cup.
The skilful frontman enjoyed his most productive season on joining Cruzeiro in 2009. He bagged an impressive 21 times in 38 appearances in all competitions as the club finished fourth in Serie A and won the Mineiro State Championship. That haul included five in ten Copa Libertadores ties - South America's equivalent of the UEFA Champions League - as the Brazilians reached the final before being edged out by Argentinean club Estudiantes.
The following year, 2010, Paulista's nine goals in 30 appearances helped Cruzeiro to finish second in Serie A and reach the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals.
After a less productive 2011 campaign, during which he was loaned to Palmeiras, the forward returned to form last year, scoring 28 goals in 40 appearances in all matches.