Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: xabi alonso

World Cup 2010 Final Thoughts (World Cup Braindump #14)

Well, that was that then. No more World Cup for four whole years. I wonder where we’ll all be then? What we’ll be doing? It’s kind of easy to track life in World Cups, but it makes it go awful fast. But before I get too philosophical, here are my final thoughts… Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Liverpool Champions League winners 2005 – Where are they now?

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?”

Jerzy Dudek

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 Finnan

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.

Jamie Carragher

Still very much a key figure at Liverpool.

Sami Hyypiä

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 Traoré

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.

Xabi Alonso

As previously mentioned, moved to Real Madrid this week.

Luis Garcia

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.

Steven Gerrard

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.

Harry Kewell

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 Baroš

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.

Substitutes:

Dietmar Hamann

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.

Djibril Cissé

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.

Vladimír Šmicer

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…

Xabi Alonso finally leaves Liverpool for Real Madrid

Xabi Alonso appears to be on the verge of leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid. Not a surprise by any means after all the protracted negotiations, but still sad for me as a Liverpool fan. Alonso will go down in Liverpool folklore as part of the 2005 Champions League winning team, particularly for squeezing in that equaliser, but he will be missed for more than purely nostalgic reasons. Last season he was clearly one of Liverpool’s best players, and after the nonsense of Benitez trying to sell him on last summer it was wonderful to see Alonso show just how great a player he is, when lesser personalities might not have made quite the effort.

His passing was metronomic and his presence of mind in the Liverpool midfield will evidently be missed. But not just his passing – the stats also showed that more often that not he was one of the most industrious runners, covering more ground that most, if not all, his team-mates.

I remember reading that Alonso had made a point of actually living in Liverpool, to feel part of the city, rather than living out in the Cheshire footballers heartland. I think that sums up the fantastic attitude he had to playing for the club. I don’t envy whoever steps into his slot.