There couldn’t be a better world to describe FC Goa’s Bruno Pinheiro than ‘solid’. The 27-year-old has been one of the standout performers in the Zico-masterminded side and has been a key link in Goa’s tactical implementations.
Born in Portugal, Pinheiro has tested his football talent in perhaps the rarest parts of the world. The versatile midfielder has spent the better half of his career with struggling clubs such as Boavista and Aris Limassol. He won the Polish second division with Widzew Lodzin 2010-11, and then became a traveller of sorts in the world of football.
After spells in Cyprus, Poland and Portugal,Pinheiro won the Greek second division with Niki Volos in 2013-14, and was subsequently signed by FC Goa for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
A silent hard worker and performer in a side highlighted by two legendary names in global football – Zico and Robert Pires -Pinheiro was deployed as a versatile midfielder in Goa’s early matches. What stood out was his ability to provide defensive cover as well as bombard forwardas he operated in front of centrebacks Youness Bengelloun and Gregory Arnolin.
Following Bengelloun’s injury, he was moved into the centre back position considering his defensive abilities where Pinheiro displayed his class, skill and adaptability while striking a chord with Arnolin. AlthoughPinheiro is a traditional midfielder, his remarkable performances as a centre backmay force Zico to rethink his policy of deploying the pairing of Arnolin-Bengelloun in the heart of defence.
Bagging 10 appearances for FC Goa, Pinheiro is perhaps one of the many links important in the team’s resurgence. Known for his ability to ping long accurate balls forward, he has been more than a blessing for Zico, who has utilised the Portuguese to the best of his capabilities.