After starting out at Vasco da Gama he went on to spend his professional career in Portugal, representing União de Leiria and Porto and winning 18 major titles for the latter. During 14 seasons, he appeared in 299 Primeira Liga games.
Helton appeared for Brazil at the 2007 Copa América.
Born in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, Helton emerged through CR Vasco da Gama's youth system. He first attracted attention after winning the Série A and the Copa Mercosur with the club in 2000.
In 2002, Helton's contract with Vasco expired and he signed with Portuguese club U.D. Leiria. He made his official debut on 9 March 2003 in a 3–1 home win against Académica de Coimbra for the Taça de Portugal, and backed up Paulo Costinha in his first season.
At the end of the 2004–05 campaign, after being first-choice in his last two years, Helton signed with FC Porto.
It seemed that Helton was destined to spend a long time bench-warming, as Porto legend Vítor Baía barred his way into the first team. However, he got his chance sooner than expected when Dutch coach Co Adriaanse summarily dropped Baía after a mistake against C.F. Estrela da Amadora cost the team a goal and a 1–2 away defeat, on 15 January 2006.
After initial criticism, Helton gained the number one spot with several solid performances. He celebrated his first season at the club with the domestic double (Primeira Liga and cup).
Helton continued to be an undisputed starter for Porto in the following years, as Porto won four consecutive league championships. In 2008–09's Portuguese Cup, however, he stayed on the bench as Nuno Espírito Santo was the starter for the eventual winners.
Helton was again first-choice in the following two seasons, appearing in 49 league games combined as his team won six major titles. On 18 May 2011 he celebrated his 33rd birthday by keeping a clean sheet in the UEFA Europa League final, in a 1–0 win against fellow league side S.C. Braga; following the departure of Lucho González for Olympique de Marseille in the 2009 summer, he was also appointed team captain.
Helton played 30 league contests in the 2012–13 campaign, for his seventh league conquest. On 16 March 2014, however, the 35-year-old suffered an Achilles tendon injury to his right leg during a 0–1 loss at Sporting Clube de Portugal, being sidelined for several months.
On 17 February 2014, Helton was condemned to pay a €60,000 fine for assaulting two stewards at the Estádio da Luz, following a tunnel brawl during the 0–1 away league loss against S.L. Benfica on 20 December 2009. After returning to action he played second-fiddle, to both Fabiano and Iker Casillas.
After competing at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, Helton was a member of the Brazilian team at the 2000 Summer Olympics. He appeared in all four matches, before the nation was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Cameroon.
Helton received his first callup to the main side in October 2006, starting in an unofficial exhibition game against Kuwait club Al Kuwait Kaifan on 7 October 2006. His official debut came on 15 November of the same year when he started in a friendly with Switzerland, and he was also featured against England in June 2007, in what was the first international to be played at the new Wembley Stadium.
Helton was a member of the national squad who won the 2007 Copa América, although he did not play a single match in the whole tournament as he was second-choice to A.S. Roma's Doni.As of 3 January 2014
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 2000
Copa Mercosur: 2000
Taça Guanabara: 2000
Taça Rio: 2001
Campeonato Carioca: 1998
Primeira Liga: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
Taça de Portugal: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11; Runner-up 2015–16
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
UEFA Europa League: 2010–11
Taça da Liga: Runner-up 2012–13
UEFA Super Cup: Runner-up 2011
Copa América: 2007
Primeira Liga: Goalkeeper of the Year 2010–11, 2012–13