Sérgio Pinto (footballer, born 1980)
Pinto with Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2014
|Full name||Sérgio Ricardo da Silva Pinto|
|Date of birth||16 October 1980|
|Place of birth||Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|2000–2004||Schalke 04 II||87||(35)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Having spent more than one decade playing in Germany, mainly with Schalke 04 and Hannover 96, he possessed dual nationality. He amassed Bundesliga totals of 212 games and 21 goals, over the course of ten seasons.
Early years / Schalke
Born in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto District, Pinto played two years with FC Porto's youth teams, moving to Germany at the age of 12 with his family and settling in the North-Rhine-Westphalia town of Haltern am See. He then continued his football grooming at TuS Haltern.
In 1999, Pinto made his Bundesliga debut with FC Schalke 04 after playing four years at the club as a youth, appearing twice for the first team in the 1999–2000 season, the first game being a 2–3 away loss against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 11 September. Most of his spell, however, was spent with the club's reserves, as he only appeared in 21 matches more in four years.
Pinto signed for Alemannia Aachen of the second division for 2004–05, for a transfer fee of €125,000. He amassed 58 league appearances in his first two years combined whilst scoring eight goals, achieving promotion in his second; on 25 November 2005, after helping to a 2–1 home win against SC Paderborn 07, he received the Tor des Monats (Goal of the Month) award from the ARD.
In the subsequent top flight campaign, Pinto appeared regularly for the North Rhine-Westphalia side, netting in a 2–0 win at FC Energie Cottbus on 10 March 2007, but the team eventually finished second from bottom and suffered relegation. In the ensuing summer, he reunited with former Aachen coach Dieter Hecking at Hannover 96, joining on a three-year contract.
Pinto played his first official game for his new club on 11 August 2007, starting and being replaced in the second half of a 0–1 home loss against Hamburger SV. He contributed with 31 games and five goals – notably in a 3–1 home success over FC Bayern Munich – in the 2010–11 season as Hannover finished fourth and qualified to the UEFA Europa League, where he added 14/2 in an eventual quarterfinal exit.
In late October 2011, following another league home win against Bayern (2–1), Pinto was accused by his opponents of "poor sportsmanship". He finally left the Lower Saxony side in June 2013, aged nearly 33 and with 193 official contests to his credit.
On 6 July 2013, Pinto signed for Levante UD in Spain, agreeing to a two-year deal. He played his first La Liga game on 18 August, featuring the first 45 minutes in a 0–7 away loss to FC Barcelona.
- Benjamin Jansen (1 October 2010). "Sergio Pinto: Ein "Bad Boy" auf Schmusekurs" [Sergio Pinto: A "Bad Boy" is sweet-talking]. Aachener Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Hecking setzt vorne weiterhin auf Meijer" [Hecking still bets on Meijer in the offensive] (in German). kicker. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "November 2005" (in German). Sportschau. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Aachen gewinnt in Unterzahl" [Aachen wins undermanned]. Rheinische Post (in German). 10 March 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Krafts Patzer bremst die Bayern aus" [Kraft's blunder thwarts Bayern] (in German). kicker. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Einzelkritik Hannover 4:0 Lüttich – Abdellaoue hellwach, Kanu glücklos" [Individual review Hannover 4:0 Liége – Abdellaoue ebullient, Kanu luckless] (in German). kicker. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Pinto gehört nach L.A. zur Oscar-Verleihung" [Pinto belongs in L.A. at the Oscar Ceremony]. Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). 24 October 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "El portugués Sergio Pinto, nuevo refuerzo del Levante" [Portuguese Sergio Pinto, new Levante signing]. Marca (in Spanish). 6 July 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Martino's dream start". ESPN FC. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Sergio Pinto wird Fortune" [Sergio Pinto becomes a Fortune] (in German). Fortuna Düsseldorf. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- "Da Silva Pinto verabschiedet sich von der Fortuna" [Da Silva Pinto cuts ties with Fortuna] (in German). kicker. 30 May 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.