FC Porto is one of the three biggest Portuguese clubs. Two time European Cup/ Champions League winners, the last time they won the trophy was in 2004. That year they beat AS Monaco 3-0 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
On the bench that night was Edgaras Jankauskas, who just two years later picked up a Scottish Cup winners medal with Hearts.
Porto, Portuguese dominance and a Champions League medal
The 6’4″ striker was the first Lithuanian to ever win the Champions League. It was Jose Mourinho who signed him for Porto from Real Sociedad.
‘The Special One’ bought him just a year after a loan spell with arch-rivals Benfica. However, in his first season in the Portuguese north-west, the ‘Dragões’ won a league and cup double.
Often a squad player, he missed out on a place in the match day squad of the 2003 UEFA Cup final. A game which Celtic fans will remember, the Hoops losing to the Portuguese giants in Seville 3-2 in extra time.
After Mourinho’s departure to Chelsea, the big Lithuanian fell out of favour at Porto. After failing to settle in France whilst on loan at Nice, the striker ended up at Hearts via FK Kaunas. A bizarre deal made possible by Vladimir Romanov’s control of both clubs.
His Hearts spell
Jankauskas was part of a team that must be considered the Jambos’ most successful in recent years. A Scottish Cup victory over lowly Gretna was made possible thanks to a 4-0 Scottish Cup semi-final victory over rivals Hibernian.
A Paul Hartley hat-trick made the day truly unforgettable for the maroon side of Edinburgh. Jankauskas was the other scorer that day, grabbing the third Hearts goal.
A successful cup campaign was matched by finishing second in the Scottish Premier League, meaning Hearts had achieved Champions League qualification.
He may have only played for Hearts for two years but the number nine certainly played his part in a successful period for the Jambos.