Pinto is looking up after City stint

PUBLISHED: 13:29 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:32 01 May 2020

Ivo Pinto left Norwich City last summer but is looking to the future for club and country Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ivo Pinto left Norwich City last summer but is looking to the future for club and country Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Former Norwich City favourite Ivo Pinto has set himself an ambitious target for club and country after reviving his career in his native Portugal.

The ever popular right back, who left the Canaries in the wake of promotion to the Premier League last summer after making 94 appearances during a three-year stint, is currently on loan at Europa League hopefuls Famalicão.

Pinto is still contracted to Dinamo Zagreb, who he joined following his City release, but hopes to steer Famalicão into Europe next season if football does resume in the coming weeks.

“The most important thing now is to be able to play and train again, so we have as normal a life as possible until the championship is over,” he said. “I’m very happy at Famalicão, but I still have a two-year contract with Dinamo Zagreb.

“We have the quality for that (Europe) and we have shown that this is what we want, despite having come through not such a good period of results.

“And we have to dream big, not because we simply can, but because we have the team to reach that goal. To go game by game, do our job and achieve the goal in the end.”

Famalicão had been the surprise package in the Portuguese top flight after being promoted and were just one point outside the European places before football’s lockdown due to the pandemic.

The 30-year-old also still harbours international ambitions, after representing his country at every age group level below seniors.

That would complete the career set for Pinto, who fulfilled his dreams of playing in both the Champions League, and later the Premier League.

“The Premier League is the best championship in the world and I was very happy to have played there,” he said, in an online question and answer session with Famalicão fans. “Every player hopes one day he will be able to play in the Champions League, which is the biggest and best club competition, which has the most eyes and the best teams and best players.

“I have already achieved that goal and I hope to do it again.

“I still need to wear the magical golden jersey, as I usually call it. It remains to be done.

“I know that it is increasingly difficult, I’m realistic, but every day we have the opportunity to improve and fight for other goals. I’ll continue to do so.”

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