Ricardo Sá Pinto

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Ricardo Sá Pinto
Ricardo Sá Pinto.jpg
Pinto with Sporting in 2012
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Manuel Andrade e Silva Sá Pinto
Date of birth (1972-10-10) 10 October 1972 (age 44)
Place of birth Porto, Portugal
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Standard Liège (coach)
Youth career
1982–1987 Porto
1987–1991 Salgueiros
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1994 Salgueiros 57 (17)
1994–1997 Sporting CP 77 (20)
1997–2000 Real Sociedad 70 (6)
2000–2006 Sporting CP 97 (14)
2006–2007 Standard Liège 21 (2)
Total 322 (59)
National team
1992–1994 Portugal U21 10 (0)
1994–2001 Portugal 45 (9)
Teams managed
2010–2011 União Leiria (assistant)
2012 Sporting CP
2013 Red Star
2013–2014 OFI Crete
2014–2015 Atromitos
2015 Belenenses
2016 Al-Fateh
2017 Atromitos
2017– Standard Liège
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ricardo Manuel Andrade e Silva Sá Pinto (born 10 October 1972) is a former Portuguese footballer who played as a forward, and the current manager of Belgian club Standard Liège.

He was known for his fighting spirit, best displayed in his Sporting stints – he was dubbed by the club's fans "Ricardo Lion Heart".[1] In a career which was cut short by injury and suspension, he appeared in 230 Primeira Liga games (scoring 51 goals), also playing abroad in Spain for two years.

Sá Pinto appeared with the Portugal national team in two European Championships, reaching the semifinals at Euro 2000. In 2012, he started working as a manager.

Club career[edit]

Born in Porto, Sá Pinto made is professional debuts with local S.C. Salgueiros and soon represented the Portuguese under-21s, helping the side reach the 1994 UEFA European Championship final. He made his Primeira Liga debut with the former on 30 August 1992, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 0–2 away loss against S.C. Farense.

In the 1994–95 season, Sá Pinto joined Sporting Clube de Portugal. After some solid performances he attracted the attention of La Liga's Real Sociedad, scoring in his first official game for his new club, a 3–3 home draw against Real Oviedo on 30 August 1998.[2]

After 70 matches and six goals (only two seasons of action due to international suspension) in Spain, Sá Pinto returned to Sporting where he played six further years, troubled by many injuries,[3][4] although he eventually gained team captaincy. In the 2006–07 campaign he joined fellow Portuguese international Sérgio Conceição at Standard Liège – with Jorge Costa having retired at the club in the summer – in the Belgian top level,[5] and retired at almost 35.[6]

In early November 2009, Sá Pinto returned to Sporting, replacing former teammate Pedro Barbosa as director of football as coach Paulo Bento was sacked following a string of poor performances/results. On 21 January 2010, following a physical confrontation with club player Liédson in the team's locker room after the 4–3 home win against C.D. Mafra for the season's Taça de Portugal, he immediately presented his resignation.[7]

Sá Pinto had his first coaching experience in 2010, being named assistant manager at U.D. Leiria under Pedro Caixinha. On 13 February 2012, after a spell with Sporting's under-19, he was appointed first-team manager, replacing fired Domingos Paciência.[8]

On 25 May 2012, even though Sporting could only rank fourth in the league and lost the domestic cup final, Sá Pinto signed a new two-year contract with the Lions.[9] On 4 October, however, following a 0–3 away loss against Videoton FC – led by former national teammate Paulo Sousa – for the season's UEFA Europa League, he was relieved of his duties.[10]

Sá Pinto was appointed at Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade on 18 March 2013,[11] winning the first eight SuperLiga matches in charge of the club but resigining his post on 19 June, in disagreement with its board of directors.[12] From October 2013 to February 2015 he worked in the Superleague Greece, with OFI Crete and Atromitos FC.[13]

Sá Pinto returned to Portugal and its capital in June 2015, after agreeing to become C.F. Os Belenenses manager in replacement of Lito Vidigal whilst signing a two-year contract.[14] On 15 December, however, after a 3–4 away loss against Académica de Coimbra and failure to qualify from the Europa League group stage, he resigned from his position.[15]

On 29 May 2016, Sá Pinto was appointed manager of Al-Fateh SC.[16][17]

International career[edit]

Sá Pinto received 45 caps for Portugal, 25 with Sporting and 20 for Real Sociedad, scoring nine times. His first game was on 7 September 1994 in a 2–1 win over Northern Ireland in Belfast, in which he netted the second goal; he played at UEFA Euro 1996, netting the equalizer against Denmark (1–1) in the group stage opener,[18] and Euro 2000.

On 26 March 1997, Sá Pinto assaulted national team coach Artur Jorge upon hearing the news of not having been picked up for a match. The player travelled to Estádio Nacional in Lisbon where the team was practicing, and punched the manager in the face, being banned for one year from all national and international competitions.[19]

Sá Pinto's last appearance was in the 6–0 win over Cyprus on 6 June 2001. An injury prevented him from being present at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals.

Sá Pinto: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition


1 9 June 1996 Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, England  Denmark 1–1 1–1 UEFA Euro 1996
2 6 September 1998 Puskás Ferenc Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 1–1 1–3 Euro 2000 qualifying
3 6 September 1998 Puskás Ferenc Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 1–2 1–3 Euro 2000 qualifying
4 26 March 1999 Estádio D. Afonso Henriques (1965), Guimarães, Portugal  Azerbaijan 1–0 7–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
5 9 June 1999 Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Liechtenstein 1–0 8–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
6 9 June 1999 Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Liechtenstein 3–0 8–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
7 23 February 2000 Stade du Pays de Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium  Belgium 1–1 1–1 Friendly
8 2 June 2000 Estádio Municipal de Chaves, Chaves, Portugal  Wales 2–0 3–0 Friendly
9 3 September 2000 Kadrioru Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia 0–3 1–3 2002 World Cup qualification






Portugal U-21




  1. ^ "Sá Pinto, "coração de leão"" [Sá Pinto, "lion heart"] (in Portuguese). Expresso. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Festival anotador entre la Real Sociedad y el Oviedo (Scoring festival between Real Sociedad and Oviedo); ABC, 31 August 1998 (in Spanish)
  3. ^ Sá Pinto's misery continues; UEFA.com, 19 January 2002
  4. ^ Knee trouble sidelines Sá Pinto; UEFA.com, 22 September 2005
  5. ^ Fresh starts for Tommasi and Sá Pinto; UEFA.com, 31 July 2006
  6. ^ Enough is enough for Sá Pinto; UEFA.com, 13 June 2007
  7. ^ Sporting director quits after reported fracas; USA Today, 21 January 2010
  8. ^ Sporting: Domingos out, Sa Pinto in; PortuGOAL, 13 February 2012
  9. ^ Ufficiale: Sporting Lisbona, rinnova il tecnico Sa Pinto (Official: Sporting Lisbon, coach Sa Pinto renews); Tutto Mercato Web, 25 May 2012 (in Italian)
  10. ^ Official – Sá Pinto relieved of his duties; Oceano appointed caretaker coach; PortuGOAL, 4 October 2012
  11. ^ Red Star Belgrade turn to Sa Pinto; FIFA.com, 19 March 2013
  12. ^ Sa Pinto quits as Crvena Zvezda coach; FIFA.com, 19 June 2013
  13. ^ Sa Pinto resigns as Atromitos coach; FIFA.com, 5 February 2015
  14. ^ Sá Pinto oficializado no Restelo (Sá Pinto made official at the Restelo); Record, 9 June 2015 (in Portuguese)
  15. ^ Sá Pinto deixa Restelo (Sá Pinto leaves Restelo); Record, 15 December 2015 (in Portuguese)
  16. ^ "الفتح يتعاقد رسمياً مع البرتغالي ريكاردو سابينتو" [Al Fateh signed a contract with Ricardo Sá Pinto] (in Arabic). Al-Fateh SC. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "Ricardo Sá Pinto vai treinar o Al-Fateh da Arábia Saudita" [Ricardo Sá Pinto will coach Saudi Arabia's Al-Fateh] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  18. ^ "Holders Denmark draw with Portugal". UEFA.com. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Sá Pinto forced into early retirement; UEFA.com, 27 April 2006
  20. ^ "Ricardo Sá Pinto". European Football. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 

External links[edit]