Jakub Jankto returns to Serie A (Paul ELLIS)
Czech midfielder Jakub Jankto said Saturday he had joined Serie A newcomers Cagliari from La Liga side Getafe, five months after becoming the first international footballer to come out as gay.
“Thanks to the fans, thanks to the teammates, thanks to Cagliari,” the 27-year-old Jankto said on Instagram in Italian underneath a photo of himself with his new contract.
“We need your support, we will give everything on the pitch,” he added.
Jankto, who is not new to Serie A, has signed up until June 30, 2025 with an option to prolong, Cagliari said on its website.
Jankto began his career at Slavia Prague, moving to Udinese in 2014 and then to Sampdoria in 2018 where he was coached by Cagliari’s current manager Claudio Ranieri.
Jankto signed with Getafe in 2021, but he struggled and was loaned to Sparta Prague for the last season, grappling with injuries the whole year.
In February, he came out as gay in an emotional statement on Twitter, sparking a wave of international support.
Only a handful of top players have publicly come out as gay while still playing, including Josh Cavallo from Adelaide United in October 2021 and Jake Daniels at English side Blackpool in May 2022.
The backing cooled off a bit when he refused a drug test during a road check in April, which led Sparta to sideline him.
Czech media said he was driving without a licence which police had seized from him earlier on.
Jankto has scored 17 goals in 155 games in Serie A and four in 45 international games for the Czech Republic.