Successful return to Portugal continues for former Canaries captain

Ivo Pinto during his Norwich days, celebrating scoring at Sunderland during a Championship game Pict

Ivo Pinto during his Norwich days, celebrating scoring at Sunderland during a Championship game Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Europa League qualification is within touching distance for former Norwich City right-back Ivo Pinto.

The 30-year-old former Canaries captain was released in 2019 and returned to former club Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia. However, after eight appearances and not featuring in any of Zagreb’s Champions League group stage games Pinto returned home to Portugal thanks to a loan move to Familicao.

That has worked out well and now the full-back is playing regularly, including a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Benfica in the Portuguese Cup semi-finals before the season was suspended.

He also played all of a 2-1 win over Porto in June, who have since been crowned champions, and featured as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with former champions Benfica. Pinto played all of a 2-1 win at Vitoria Setubal on Monday, which has moved Familicao up to the final Europa League qualification spot in fifth place with two games left - against mid-table sides Boavista and Maritmo.

Posting a celebratory team photo on Instagram, Pinto wrote: “One day I will tell my grandchildren that I had the pleasure of belonging to this group!

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“Whatever happens, we should all be very proud.”

After being signed from Zagreb for around £2.5million in January 2016, the Portuguese defender made 95 appearances for Norwich, scoring three goals.

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