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Skipper to leave in Sporting reshuffle

Sporting Clube de Portugal are to part company with captain Pedro Barbosa but have retained striker Sá Pinto.

Sporting have decided not to renew the 34-year-old Barbosa's contract when it expires on 30 June. The midfield player, who has made 259 league appearances for the Lisbon outfit since arriving from Vitória SC in 1995, may now move abroad. "I have given everything to Sporting and will continue to support the team. But I don't want to continue working with the people that run the club," Barbosa said.

Second departure
Barbosa becomes the second senior player to announce his departure. Sporting are also releasing former Portuguese international full-back Rui Jorge, 32, when his current deal runs out this month.

Staying on
However, centre-forward Sá Pinto will stay at the Estádio José Alvalade, the 32-year-old having agreed a new contract for the 2005/06 season. Sá Pinto, who joined Sporting from Real Sociedad de Fútbol five summers ago, said: "It's what I wanted – I love the club and the fans and can still offer something to this team."

Destination Europe
Sporting, who finished third in the SuperLiga while also losing the UEFA Cup final to PFC CSKA Moskva on home soil, will enter the Champions League third qualifying round in August.