I was surprised to read in the coverage of Xabi Alonso’s transfer to Real Madrid, that his departure from Liverpool left only Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher as the only 2005 Champions League winners still on Liverpool’s books.
So, I thought I’d explore what happened to the rest, to coin a phrase – “Where are they now?”
Alonso will see a familiar face at Real in Jerzy Dudek, who moved there at the end of the 2006/7 season. He hasn’t played much, with Iker Casillas the regular ‘keeper and hard to displace.
Steve moved to Espanyol in September last year, in an unlikely transfer, but is now back in England, having signed a one-year contract with Portsmouth.
Still very much a key figure at Liverpool.
After ten years at Liverpool Sami moved to Bayer Leverkusen this summer, but has suggested that he may well return in the future in a coaching capacity.
Djimi has been something of a journeyman since leaving Liverpool in the summer of 2006, playing for Charlton, Portsmouth, Birmingham (on loan), and recently signed a two-year deal with AS Monaco.
Scored that goal to send Liverpool to the final, and seemed to have a knack for scoring crucial goals. He moved to Atlético Madrid in 2007, but has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular.
Chelsea couldn’t tempt him away – and has stated that he’s likely to finish his career at Liverpool.
John Arne Riise
Riise moved to Roma last summer, and scored against both Inter and AC Milan last season.
The man fated to get injured in Champions League finals moved to Galatasaray last summer, a controversial move with fans of his old club Leeds, as he had been a Leeds player when two of their fans had been killed prior to a UEFA Cup semi-final with Galatasaray in 2000.
Milan left Liverpool in August 2005, soon after the Champions League win. He is another journeyman of sorts, playing for Aston Villa, Lyon and Portsmouth, before joining Galatasaray last summer, finishing up top scorer in the Turkish league.
The substitution that perhaps turned that final around. In 2006, after backing off from a deal with Bolton, Didi signed with Manchester City. This summer he was released by City, but there have been reports of him signing with Preston North End, or QPR.
Cissé went on loan to Marseille in July 2006, signing with them permanently a year later. Last season he went on loan again, this time to Sunderland, and in June signed with Panathinaikos.
Vladi knew the final would be his last match in a Liverpool shirt, and would move to Bordeaux that summer. In 2007 he returned to his first club, Slavia Prague, but has been plagued with injuries.
So, interesting (I think anyway) to look at where these players ended up. Arguably nobody has gone onto bigger and better things. Is that just down to bad luck and bad decisions? Or were these a reasonably limited group of individuals who worked so much better as a team – the whole being better than the sum of the parts? Being sentimental here, but maybe Istanbul really was a miracle…