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Tuesday, 14 April 2009 09:25

Helio Pinto closing on another title in Cyprus

Winger praises compatriot Morais

helio pintoFormer Benfica forward Helio Pinto has had no shortage of success since moving to Cyprus, and the 25-year-old is on-course for a domestic double this season with APOEL.

Having breezed through the first three of four matches in their end-of-season play-offs, 2007 champions APOEL are now just one point away from re-claiming their championship from last season’s winners Anorthosis Famagusta.

For Pinto, the run-in looks set to boost what is already a substantial medal collection. “When I first arrived, I became a champion with Apollon,” he explained to Record. “The next season I won it with APOEL, last season I won the cup and this season, as well as the SuperCup which we already won, we are in the semi-finals of the cup and we just need a draw now to be champions.

“We have already won three matches, two away and one at home, in a play-off where we are competing against Omonia, Anorthosis and AEL, the top four teams in the championship.”

APOEL meet APOP in the semi-finals of the Cypriot Cup on Wednesday, but with no league fixtures next weekend, Pinto and his side must wait until April 25th before they have the chance to seal the title at Anorthosis. The former Benfica man says he is looking forward to the occasion, while offering words of praise for compatriot and team-mate Nuno Morais.

“I am optimistic (about the match with Anorthosis) and I like a lot to be playing in midfield beside Nuno Morais who, has now adapted himself. He is an excellent player, his quality makes it easy for the player next to him, and in the 4-4-2 that we use it has been going very well.”

By Sean Gillen

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