11 years on from Istanbul miracle- where is the team now?
Yesterday saw Liverpool’s famous Istanbul win over AC Milan turn 11 years old, a night that nobody associated with Liverpool will ever forget.
Not one of the players who played that night remain in the squad, with Steven Gerrard being the last, and leaving Liverpool for LA Galaxy a year ago now.
It begs the question, where are the rest of the squad now? Some are still present in football. Xabi Alonso, who scored Liverpool’s equaliser on the night, still plays in Germany for Bayern Munich, while Jamie Carragher has retired and is a pundit for Sky Sports. Luis Garcia plays in a lot of charity matches and still is a fan of Liverpool.
However, some of the players are now worlds away from Anfield, so where are some of the lesser-known players now? Here are some of the more interesting stories:
Steve moved on from Liverpool in 2008 for Spanish side Espanyol. He returned to England a year later with Portsmouth, where he made 25 appearences for Pompey before evenutally retiring. He’s now involved in a London-based construction firm- Finnan Developments.
Traore left a year after Liverpool’s Champions League success, and enjoyed spells at Charlton and Portsmouth, and also periods at Ligue 1 outfits Stade Rennais, Monaco and Marseille, and even a brief stay in the Championship with Birmingham. The Malian saw out his career in Major League Soccer with Seattle Sounders before retiring last year.
Kewell left Anfield for Turkey in 2008, joining Galatasaray. He spent 3 seasons there before returning home to play in Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart. He eventually retired in 2014.
The Czech striker left for Aston Villa immediately after their Istanbul win and later played for Lyon, Portsmouth and Galatasaray before twice rejoining Banik Ostrava, the club he originally left for Anfield, either side of a stint with Turkish side Antalyaspor.
Smicer got Liverpool’s 2nd goal of the night, but the Champions League final proved to be his final game for Liverpool, and his career could never match up to those heights. He spent two seasons with French side Bordeaux then returned to his first professional club Slavia Prague before retiring in May 2010.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10