In his youth Vieirinha started to play at the local club Torcatense before moving in 1996 to the youth academy of Vitória Guimarães. In 2002 he joined the academy of former Champions League winner FC Porto. At senior level he started at FC Porto before before being loaned for a half season to Marco, a club in the second tier of Portugal. Back at FC Porto he just played in 8 leaguegames for the club before being loaned again, this time to Leixões SC in 2007.
In the 2008–2009 season Vieirinha was loaned to PAOK for one season. The club bought him in the summer of 2009 for about € 1 million. In the winter of 2012 Vieirinha was transferred to German side. VfL Wolfsburg for € 4 million. In the summer of 2017, being married to a Greek women and having a daughter with her, he returned to PAOK for a fee of € 1 million. This was the start of a glorious stint at the club as he, being the undisputed captain and nicknamed The Leader, won the Greek cup in 2018 and 2019 and the Greek Super League in 2019. In the first Cupfinal he scored with a stunning free kick and was voted Man of the Match. Vieirinha was voted best foreign player of the League in the 2018-2019 season. But there was bad luck too: Vieirinha suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Despite this injury his coach, Razvan Lucescu, subbed him in the 89th minute of the game against Levadiakos the following weekend, as the club was crowned champion just to give him the honour of captaining the team at the final whistle.
Vieirinha featured for every youth level of the Portugal national team, from U16 to the senior team. He won the European U17 championship in 2003. Vieirinha made his debut with the Portugal national team in 2013, and was part of the squads at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, winning the latter tournament. He was capped 26 times, scoring one goal.