DenilsonNeves came through the Sao Paulo youth system before he was promoted to the first team during the 2005 season. He was part of the Sao Paulo squad that won the 2005 Copa Libertadores and went on to win the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup which they qualified for as South American champions. Denilson was not a regular in that Sao Paulo team. In total, he started four games plus eight substitute appearances before signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2006.
At the time of his signing, Denilson was described as a midfielder who has similarities with defensive midfielder Gilberto Silva and attacking midfielder Tomas Rosicky. Denilson was in the Arsenal matchday squad for the first time when the Gunners travelled to Russia to take on CSKA Moscow in a Champions League clash. He was part of the 19-man squad for the game played on October 17, 2006.Denilson was an unused substitute against CSKA Moscow. Seven days later, he made his debut for the Gunners in a League Cup clash with West Brom and was a regular member of the Arsenal squad during the League Cup campaign for that season.Denilson made his Premier League bow as a substitute as the Gunners were beaten 1-0 by hosts Sheffield United at Bramall Lane at the end of 2006.
Denilson returned to Sao Paulo on loan from Arsenal for the last two years of his time in London before the move was made permanent on a four-year deal in 2013. He had to leave Arsenal by mutual consent in the summer of 2013 for him to join Sao Paulo on a free transfer.
Apart from Sao Paulo, Denilson also played for Brazilian clubs Cruzeiro and Botafogo.