Former City full-back Pinto chasing Champions League qualification with Dinamo Zagreb
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
He was released by Norwich City at the end of last season but now Ivo Pinto has a chance of playing Champions League football.
The right-back returned to former club Dinamo Zagreb this summer when his contract was not renewed, the Croatian club City paid around £2.5million to for his services in January 2016.
Pinto has started two of Zagreb's four league matches so far and also started both legs of a 5-0 aggregate victory over Georgian minnows Saburtalo in the second round of Champions League qualifying, coming off injured 50 minutes into the first leg.
However, the 29-year-old was not in the squad for either leg as Dinamo knocked out Hungarian side Ferencváros, winning 4-0 on Tuesday night to seal a 5-1 aggregate success in the third round.
That has sealed a play-off against Norwegian club Rosenborg in the play-off, with a place in the group stages up for grabs for Pinto's club. The games are scheduled for August 20 and 27, with Dinamo at home in the second leg.
The Portuguese full-back made 94 appearances for Norwich but just five of those were last season as City won the Championship, with Max Aarons becoming Daniel Farke's first choice at right-back.
Pinto was a popular player in the dressing room though and joined in with the title celebrations at Villa Park in May, before featuring in the charity exhibition at Carrow Road the following day, to celebrate the careers of Wes Hoolahan and Russell Martin, being presented with a framed photo by sporting director Stuart Webber and receiving a fond farewell from Canaries fans.
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- You can watch video above of Pinto speaking after that match
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