#MagicMonday: Deco strikes as Porto secure Champions League title

Portugal legend Deco is one of just a handful of players to have won Champions League titles with two different clubs.

Born and raised in Brazil, Anderson Luís de Souza played in his homeland for both Corinthians and Centro Sportivo Alagoano before arriving in Portugal in 1997, shortly before his 20th birthday.

Initally with Benfica – after a loan spell with their feeder outfit Alverca – things didn’t pan out at Estádio da Luz and he ended up at Porto two years later, via a short spell with Salgueiros.

It was here, under José Mourinho, that Deco first made his name as a key figure during three league-winner campaigns for the Dragons and also made the first of 75 appearances for his adopted country.

In 2003 Deco guided Porto to the UEFA Cup, beating Celtic in the final, then just a year later pulled-off the greatest achievement in European club football as they lifted the Champions League.

After finishing second to Real Madrid in the group stages, they famously dispatched Manchester United in the first knockout phase, as a relatively unknown Mourinho went on a touchline rampage after Costinha’s last-minute equaliser in the second leg at Old Trafford sent them through.

Lyon were the victims in the next round, Deco scoring in the first game of a 4-2 aggregate victory, then, in the semis, a slender 1-0 win over the two legs put them past Deportivo La Coruña to set up a meeting with Monaco in the Gelsenkirchen finale.

It was to be Deco’s swansong at Porto, his performance – as they were on route to the final – was instrumental in their success.

Porto took the lead just before the break, then with 19 minutes left and Monaco on the search for a leveller, Deco broke clear, found Alenichev on the left who played the ball straight back into the playmaker’s path to stroke home their second.

Alenichev made it three shortly after and the Portuguese side were crowned champions, while their talisman and man of the match, Deco, also won UEFA’s Club Footballer of the Year and best midfielder awards for his influential campaign.

The final would be his last appearance for Porto. With a host of Europe’s top clubs lining up for his signature, he moved to Barcelona where he won another Champions League two years later.

But his first title was truly a magic moment for the Portuguese international icon.

Make sure you don’t miss Deco in action for Portugal again at the inaugural Star Sixes tournament at the O2, where 12 international teams will go head-to-head from 13-16 July for the first trophy. Get your tickets by visiting Ticketmaster or AXS.