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Norwich City ace Ivo Pinto is out to emulate big pal Nelson Oliveira

Ivo Pinto would love to emulate Nelson Oliveira's Portugal call up. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ivo Pinto would love to emulate Nelson Oliveira's Portugal call up. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City defender Ivo Pinto is using his great mate Nelson Oliveira’s Portugal call up for inspiration.

Norwich City defender Ivo Pinto is using his great mate Nelson Oliveira’s Portugal call up for inspiration.

Pinto was capped by the European champions at every age group from under-16 but has yet to make a senior appearance.

Oliveira ended a two-year exile from the national set-up when he scored in Thursday’s 5-1 World Cup qualifying romp over the Faroe Islands and was an unused substitute in his country’s 1-0 win over Hungary on Sunday night.

“It is a big moment and he deserves it for the work he is doing,” said Pinto. “Of course, for me it is something I always dream about, going to the national team. I am working every day for this. I just need to keep working hard and believing in myself. I am happy for him. It is fantastic. Nelson is a big player. I don’t think we have a striker like him in the international team of Portugal.

“Nelson is a massive player for us. He already showed that, in delivering goals and performances. With Nelson playing it is a completely different game and at any second he can score a goal.

“All big players are big characters. It is good for him to have that and if he can carry on it will be fantastic for us.”

Pinto played his first 90 minutes of the Championship campaign in the 4-0 mauling at Millwall after an injury-hit pre-season.

The popular full-back missed the Craven Cottage opener, when compatriot Oliveira vented his frustration towards head coach Daniel Farke after missing out on a start at Fulham.

“That is past. It happened. We all spoke with him. It is done,” said Pinto. “I am Portuguese and I am close to him so I speak a lot with Nelson. At the end we agree or we disagree but we are all together. We all make mistakes and that happened in the moment of the goal. He wanted to play and I think that is fantastic so I don’t blame him. Of course, everything can be done in a different way but the team is with Nelson because he is very important for us. He is a very, very good lad. You can’t judge a person on one action. He wanted to show he wants to play.

“It is just as new for me with this coach as the other boys who have come in. We felt from day one we know Daniel’s ideas. Day by day we are trying to achieve that.

“Of course we need to change some things but, all together, we can do this.”

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