José Manuel Pinto joined Barça on 18 January 2008 from Celta, the club he had played for during the previous ten seasons. He came on loan but FC Barcelona signed him permanently at the end of the 2007/08 season.
Born in Puerto de Santa Maria (Cádiz) on November 8, 1975, Pinto start his professional career in
Andalucia. After spending three seasons with Real Betis's B side, he moved up to the first team and
made his debut for the club during the 1997/98 campaign. A year later he agreed to move to Celta
Vigo, where would spend the next decade before leaving to go to Camp Nou.
After being replaced by Toni Prats at Betis, Pinto opted to join Celta and it was there that he found stability and was awarded the captain's armband. He went on to play 126 games in la Primera, 56 matches in la Segunda A as well as appearing in the Champions League and the UEFA Cup regularly with the club. As well as helping the side to qualify for the Champions League in 2003/04, Pinto won the Zamora Trophy as the best keeper in the league in 2005/06.
That year, Pinto conceded just 28 goals in 37 league matches (an average of 0.75 per game) and helped guide the team to sixth place in the top flight and into the UEFA Cup. The season before had seen Víctor Valdés win the Zamora.
When playing for Celta in the Second Division, FC Barcelona bought him in the January transfer window as cover for Albert Jorquera, sidelined with a long-term knee injury. He came on loan but FC Barcelona signed him permanently at the end of the 2007/08 season, during which he made his League debut away at Deportivo and then played in two more matches.
In the 2008/09 season, Guardiola made Pinto his first choice stopper in the cup. The Andalusian played every game in the competition and performed especially well in the semi final, saving a penalty from Mallorca’s Martí, which could have complicated Barcelona’s qualification. He also played the last games of the league campaign, thus ensuring Valdés won the Zamora Trophy.
Pinto is a strong goalkeeper, standing at 1.85m tall and weighing 82kg. His height and agility make him powerful in the air and he also has very quick reflexes to help him make a quick-reaction save when required. It is those reflexes that also make him a superb shot-stopper from close range, but he is not easy to beat from distance either.
2009/10 World Club Cup
2009/10 European Super Cup
2009/10 Spanish Super Cup
2008/09 Champions League
2008/09 Copa del Rey
Celta de Vigo
2001/02 Copa del Rey Runner-Up
2005/06 Spanish League Zamora