Champions League winner looks unrecognisable as he launches own branded wine | The Sun

FOOTBALL fans have been left dumbfounded after a former Champions League winner announced his new wine venture – but it had nothing to do with his role as wine salesman.

The Czech Republic international started his career with Banik Ostrava before earning a big move to Serie A in 2000.

The ex left winger joined Italian giants Napoli after impressing for his country at Euro 2000.

He went on to make 51 appearances and scored eight goals during his two-year spell in Naples.

That led to a stint on loan at Udinese, which eventually turned into a permanent move and three seasons with the Italian side.

West Ham had been linked with our mystery ace – but he spent three years with Udinese as a host of Europe’s top clubs started circling.


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Eventually, in the summer of 2005, he was snapped up by AC Milan and he went on to enjoy huge success at the San Siro after converting to left full-back.

And the pinnacle was undoubtedly the 2007 Champions League final.

He started in defence for Milan as two goals from Filippo Inzaghi sealed a 2-1 victory over Liverpool.

The man we are talking about is none other than the now 45-year-old Marek Jankulovski.

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And he continued to enjoy success at Milan as they lifted both the Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup later that year.

His performances in 2007 also earned him the Czech footballer of the year accolade.

Jankulovski and Milan then celebrated winning the Serie A title in 2011 but that would prove to be his final campaign at the club.

He returned to boyhood club Banik Ostrava that summer but the fairytale comeback ended in disappointing fashion.

The Czech icon made his debut against Hradec Kralove in October but managed to play just eight minutes after coming off the bench as he suffered a knee injury.

That turned out to be his last professional game as he announced his retirement due to injury in February 2012.

The 78-capped national hero did manage to pull on the boots again 12 months later in front of a packed crowd for a farewell match that had been arranged by the club.

Jankulovski was employed as a consultant by Banik and also started work in his homeland as a pundit for Champions League matches.

He was then named as Banik’s sporting director in June 2018 but left the role two years later.

Now he has a new job away from the pitch as he shared his news on Instagram – and his followers could barely believe that it was him as he looks completely unrecognisable from his heyday.

Standing in front of a huge barrel of wine and holding a bottle of it, he captioned the snap with: “Italy, wine and football.. Introducing WINE LEGEND – Marek Jankulovski. Many thanks to winemaker Fabio for including me in the selected company of champions for whom he exclusively produces wines. Info on where you can order wine will be added soon.”

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One response read: “He has aged like a fine wine.”

While another wrote: “It took me a while to work out who this was.”

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