Chelsea legend Paulo Ferreira started his Portugal national team career with the u-21s in 2000 and he was a regular member of the team for two years. Paulo Ferreira also played for the u-20s. In total, he featured 27 times for both the Portugal u-20s and the Portugal u-21s over a period of two years between 2000 and 2002. He was elevated to the senior team squad towards the end of 2002.



Paulo Ferreira made his debut for the Portugal senior team against the Three Lions of England at Villa Park on September 7, 2002. The friendly game between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw. Ferreira was in the Portugal team to the Euro 2004 tournament on home soil.

Portugal came close to winning the tournament on home soil before they met a stubborn Greece team who had beaten Portugal 2-1 in the opening game. Angelo Charisteas scored the only goal of the game in the final which ended in a 1-0 win for Greece. Paulo Ferreira started the tournament in the starting XI before his mistake in the opening match loss to the Greek team ensured that he was replaced by Miguel for the rest of the tournament though he returned to replace injured Miguel towards the end of the first half in the final.

Ferreira featured in the colours of the Portugal senior team for the second time at the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament in Germany. He played twice as Portugal reached the last four of the tournament. He replaced the injured Miguel in the second half of the semi-final clash with France which ended in a 1-0 defeat and also started the third/fourth place playoff game against the Germans which ended 3-1 in favour of the host nation. Portugal finished fourth as a result of the defeat to Germany.