João Vieira Pinto

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João Pinto
Joao Pinto 2012.JPG
Personal information
Full name João Manuel Vieira Pinto
Date of birth (1971-08-19) 19 August 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth Porto, Portugal
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1982–1983 Águias da Areosa
1983–1988 Boavista
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Boavista 17 (4)
1990–1991 Atlético Madrileño
1991–1992 Boavista 34 (8)
1992–2000 Benfica 220 (64)
2000–2004 Sporting CP 89 (22)
2004–2006 Boavista 57 (11)
2006–2008 Braga 33 (3)
Total 450 (112)
National team
1989–1991 Portugal U20 18 (3)
1991–1994 Portugal U21 16 (5)
1991–2002 Portugal 81 (23)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

João Manuel Vieira Pinto (born 19 August 1971) is a Portuguese retired footballer who played mostly as a forward.

Blessed with formidable playmaker skills and scoring ability, he made his name mostly at a domestic level and as a key figure in the Portuguese national team's "Golden Generation",[1] collecting 138 caps and scoring 35 goals all categories comprised (81/23 for the senior team alone) and representing the country in one World Cup and two European Championships.

In the club level Pinto started his career with Boavista, but it was mainly associated with two of the biggest clubs in the country, Benfica and Sporting, with which he won one national championship each for a total of six major titles combined. Over the course of 19 first division seasons, he played in 450 games and netted 112 goals.

Football career[edit]

As a youth, Pinto played for the Bairro do Falcão (where he was born, in Campanhã, Porto's east side) and the Águias da Areosa, and once tried to join F.C. Porto's youth system – refused, he moved to Boavista F.C. instead. As a child, he impressed with his speed and ball control, and was subsequently one of the brightest stars in Portugal's wins in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Riyadh and Lisbon, being the only player ever to have been on the winning side in this competition twice (along with goalkeeper Fernando Brassard, whom however did not play in the first tournament). Additionally, he made his first division debuts at only 17.

Pinto's performance in the first youth competition earned him a transfer to Atlético de Madrid in 1990, but he was placed instead with the club's B-team. After a forgettable season he rejoined Boavista, played every game, scored eight goals and helped his team win the 1992 Portuguese Cup, in a final against city rivals Porto; shortly after, he signed with national top division powerhouse S.L. Benfica.

Whilst with Benfica, Pinto's career was threatened in late 1992 by a collapsed lung during an international match for Portugal in Scotland for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – he did recover, but was unable to help Benfica win the title. However, in the next season, he played arguably the best football he ever played at the Reds, his best moment coming in a derby against Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he scored three goals and was on the play of the remaining three in a massive 6–3 win at the Estádio José Alvalade; this result proved to be decisive for the club's clinching of the 1994 national championship.[2]

Dubbed "The Golden Boy", Pinto won club captaincy from veteran António Veloso after the latter's retirement in 1995, but was unable to win a national title again. Arguably, the lack of quality of a poorly managed Benfica side played a part in his lack of development after 1995, as he was considered as the main talent of the Portuguese squad alongside playmaker Rui Costa; finally, after a wage dispute with Benfica's president João Vale e Azevedo,[2] he was released from contract weeks before the UEFA Euro 2000 (making him the only free-agent in the competition), where he helped the national team reach the semifinals after scoring eight goals during the qualifying stage: on 13 June 2000, he netted through a header against England for a 3–2 group stage win, after a two-goal disadvantage.[3]

After the end of the tournament Pinto had several offers from abroad, and after almost signing with Porto, he settled for Sporting instead, signing a four-year contract.[4] After a relatively poor season in 2000–01, the Lions hired four-time Portuguese Golden Boot winner Mário Jardel, and Pinto returned to his golden years in a magnificent run which ended with the conquest of his second title; named the "father of the team" by the Brazilian, he played all but one game and scored nine goals.

Although a highly talented player, Pinto was also known for a series of red cards for aggression and bad tackles – his feud with Porto player and national teammate Paulinho Santos lasted for years, and both players would be frequently sent off after hitting each other. Other incidents that stirred some controversy included one case of aggression against a fireman during the half-time break and elbowing an C.F. Estrela da Amadora player during a practice match.

The lowest point, however, was when Pinto hit Argentine referee Ángel Sánchez (in the third group stage game, against South Korea, at the 2002 World Cup), who had sent him off after a bad tackle early in the match.[5] He was suspended for six months; he also got the reputation of being a diver, but he began to foul less in his later years.

Pinto ended his Portugal career with 81 caps, 23 goals, and appearances in Euro 1996, Euro 2000, and the 2002 World Cup. Never recovering fully from the incident at the World Cup, he failed to impress in the following seasons, when Sporting failed to reach the top two spots, and in 2004 he was released from contract, returning to Boavista. Although he was close to signing with Al-Hilal FC of Saudi Arabia in the January transfer window, he remained with his first professional club.

After a second season carrying Boavista's squad (who almost qualified for UEFA Cup, with Pinto scoring nine league goals and receiving numerous Man of the match awards), Pinto accepted the invitation of Sporting Clube de Braga's board in July 2006,[6] signing for one season. He netted twice in 24 appearances in an eventual fourth-place finish for the Minho side, and extended his contract for the 2007–08 season;[7] however, during February 2008, he trained with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and, late into that month, announced the termination of his contract at Braga,[8] retiring shortly after at nearly 37 years of age.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Boavista
Benfica
Sporting

Country[edit]

Individual[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Boavista 1988–89 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
1989–90 11 3 0 0 2 2 13 5
Total 17 3 0 0 2 2 19 5
Atlético Madrid B 1990–91 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Boavista 1991–92 34 8 5 0 4 0 43 8
Total 34 8 5 0 4 0 43 8
Benfica 1992–93 21 7 6 1 4 1 31 9
1993–94 34 15 2 1 8 2 44 18
1994–95 24 4 5 1 7 1 36 6
1995–96 31 18 6 4 5 1 42 23
1996–97 28 7 6 6 6 3 40 16
1997–98 25 6 3 1 2 0 30 7
1998–99 28 4 1 0 7 3 36 7
1999–00 29 3 1 0 5 0 35 3
Total 220 64 30 14 44 11 294 89
Sporting 2000–01 31 6 5 1 5 0 41 7
2001–02 33 9 6 2 5 1 44 12
2002–03 25 8 1 0 0 0 26 8
2003–04 26 5 1 0 4 0 31 5
Total 115 28 13 3 14 1 142 32
Boavista 2004–05 26 2 4 1 0 0 30 3
2005–06 31 9 1 1 0 0 32 10
Total 57 11 5 2 0 0 62 13
Braga 2006–07 24 2 0 0 0 0 24 2
2007–08 9 1 0 0 0 0 9 1
Total 33 3 0 0 0 0 33 3
Career total 476 117 56 20 75 15 605 152

International goals[edit]

João Pinto: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 20 November 1991 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Greece 1–0 1–0 Euro 1992 qualifying
2 19 June 1993 Estádio do Bessa, Porto, Portugal  Malta 3–0 4–0 1994 World Cup qualification
3 13 October 1993 Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal   Switzerland 1–0 1–0 1994 World Cup qualification
4 9 October 1994 Daugava Stadium (Riga), Riga, Latvia  Latvia 0–1 1–3 Euro 1996 qualifying
5 9 October 1994 Daugava Stadium (Riga), Riga, Latvia  Latvia 0–2 1–3 Euro 1996 qualifying
6 18 December 1994 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Liechtenstein 4–0 8–0 Euro 1996 qualifying
7 19 June 1996 City Ground, Nottingham, England  Croatia 0–2 0–3 UEFA Euro 1996
8 5 October 1996 Olimpiysky National Sports Complex, Kiev, Ukraine  Ukraine 1–1 2–1 1998 World Cup qualification
9 7 June 1997 Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal  Albania 1–0 2–0 1998 World Cup qualification
10 14 October 1998 Štadión Pasienky, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0–1 0–3 Euro 2000 qualifying
11 14 October 1998 Štadión Pasienky, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0–2 0–3 Euro 2000 qualifying
12 26 March 1999 Estádio D. Afonso Henriques (1965), Guimarães, Portugal  Azerbaijan 2–0 7–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
13 26 March 1999 Estádio D. Afonso Henriques (1965), Guimarães, Portugal  Azerbaijan 5–0 7–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
14 9 June 1999 Estádio Municipal de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Liechtenstein 2–0 8–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
15 9 June 1999 Estádio Municipal de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Liechtenstein 5–0 8–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
16 9 June 1999 Estádio Municipal de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Liechtenstein 6–0 8–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
17 18 August 1999 Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal  Andorra 2–0 4–0 Friendly
18 9 October 1999 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Hungary 2–0 3–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
19 12 June 2000 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands  England 2–2 3–2 UEFA Euro 2000
20 16 August 2000 Estádio do Fontelo, Viseu, Portugal  Lithuania 1–0 5–1 Friendly
21 6 June 2001 Estádio José Alvalade (1956), Lisbon, Portugal  Cyprus 5–0 6–0 2002 World Cup qualification
22 6 June 2001 Estádio José Alvalade (1956), Lisbon, Portugal  Cyprus 6–0 6–0 2002 World Cup qualification
23 6 October 2001 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Estonia 1–0 5–0 2002 World Cup qualification

Personal[edit]

Still in his teens, Pinto had two sons from his first marriage. The oldest, Tiago (born 1988), started his football grooming at Benfica, completed it at Sporting and first played professionally with C.D. Olivais e Moscavide.[9][10]

Pinto's younger brother, Sérgio, was also a footballer, having played almost exclusively in the lower leagues of Portugal, and one year in England.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Retirement beckons for João Pinto; UEFA.com, 22 July 2008
  2. ^ a b "João Manuel Vieira Pinto" (in Portuguese). Vedeta ou Marreta?. 17 February 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "England crushed in five-goal classic". BBC Sport. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Joao Pinto joins Sporting Lisbon". ESPN Soccernet. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 10 August 2001. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Porto to ask Sporting questions; UEFA.com, 23 August 2002
  6. ^ Braga bag João Pinto's experience; UEFA.com, 2 June 2006
  7. ^ João Pinto prolongs career at Braga; UEFA.com, 26 May 2007
  8. ^ Pinto expected on Monday; Sportsnet, 22 February 2008
  9. ^ Família de Tiago Pinto e Bárbara está a crescer (Family of Tiago Pinto and Bárbara is growing); Record, 16 August 2011 (Portuguese)
  10. ^ Tiago Pinto: "Quiero alcanzar un nivel elevado" (Tiago Pinto: "I want to play at a high level"); Marca, 3 September 2012 (Spanish)
  11. ^ "Portuguese men-a-broad". The Football Association. 4 September 2002. Retrieved 24 March 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]