Paulo Wanchope was born into a football family in Heredia, Costa Rica. His father played the game and his three brothers are currently active back in Costa Rica.
The 6ft 4ins striker was brought to England by Derby County boss Jim Smith for £700,000. Paulo scored an outstanding solo goal on his debut against Manchester United, immediately endearing himself to Rams fans. He went on to score 23 goals in 72 games. This opened the door to a move to West Ham in the summer of 1999. in London Paulo experienced a difficult start with his new club, resulting in a harsh treatment by the West Ham supporters, but towards the end of the 1999/2000 season he found the way into the net more frequently, finishing at 12 goals in 32 games.
Following the arrivals of Davor Suker and Frederic Kanoute in July 2000, five quality forwards were vying for a first team spot. This led to the neccessity for West Ham to offload at least one of the original strikers to cut down the wages.
Costa Rican hitman, Wanchope, along with Paul Kitson, appeared to be the principle candidates to be sacrificed. Wanchope had previously been subject of a bid from Leicester City, then managed by Martin O'Neill, prior to transfer deadline day, but it was Joe Royle and Manchester City that moved quickest for the signature of the lanky striker. A last minute effort from Bradford was brushed aside and in early August 2000 Paulo could join his new striking partners George Weah and Shaun Goater at Maine Road in a record £3,6 mill. deal for the Manchester club.
Wanchope suffered a knee injury against Newcastle in 2001. The 26-year-old was forced to have an operation at the start of the 2002/2003 season after picking up another injury to the knee during the 2002 World Cup. And in February 2003 he damaged his shoulder badly during training, keeping him out for the rest of the season. "Paulo had worked so hard to get back again," manager Kevin Keegan told City's official website. "It is a real body blow for him. Wanchope had been hoping to make his belated comeback in March 2003. "Just when you think, like he did, that you have turned the corner, this happens," Keegan added. "It was a complete freak accident, an innocuous thing. His shoulder came out when he fell. "It went back in pretty easily, which is usually a good sign, but now he will have to have surgery."
26/8/2004: Manchester City's Costa Rican international striker
Paulo Wanchope joined Spanish Primera Liga team Malaga. The 28-year-old
was signed by Malaga for a fee of 500,000 pounds after he completed a
medical and agreed personal terms.