Surely one of the best European Cup finals ever, 3-0 down at half time to a strong AC Milan side, defeat looked inevitable, but in a thrilling second half and 4 time winners Liverpool drew level and went on to lift the famous trophy on penalties. Here’s a look at where Liverpool’s Champions League heroes are now…
GK – Jerzy Dudek
The hero for Liverpool had a torrid first half but recovered to make a mesmerising double save from Andriy Shevchenko late on before saving the Ukrainians vital penalty to win the cup. The Polish international left Liverpool in 2007 as Jose Reina was drafted in. Dudek, 34, ended up at Real Madrid but only played 2 games due to Iker Casillas’ presence. Jerzy hung up his gloves on May 21st 2011. Upon retirement he went back to Poland, where he hopes to open a football school with his brother, Dariusz. He joined Andriy Shevchenko in Poland and Ukraine’s successful bid for Euro 2012.
RB – Steve Finnan
The Irishman was an integral part of this Liverpool team, providing width in attack and a sturdy defence. Unfortunately for him and to the disappointment of the Liverpool faithful, Finnan was substituted at half time due to a thigh injury sustained during the game. Steve Finnan left for Spain in 2008 after the arrival of Phillipe Degen from Borussia Dortmund, joining Espanyol for an undisclosed fee. Injury hampered his time at the Catalan side and in 2009 he was released from his contract. Later that year he returned to the Premier League with Portsmouth. He played regularly but with Pompey in administration, Finnan was not offered a new contract. He retired in 2010 and is taking time away from football at present.
CB – Jamie Carragher
The one club man and general Kop legend has maintained a place in a strong Liverpool defence for many years to date. He continues to be an integral part of the team under Brendan Rodgers, keeping Martin Skrtel out of the first team. Despite his age (35) he is always in the right place at the right time and is very vocal in the back four. In 2010 Carragher played in his testimonial against an Everton XI, scoring a penalty for the Reds and the Toffees. On February 7th 2013, Jamie Carragher announced his retirement. He is expected to take an ambassadorial role at the club.
CB – Sami Hyypia
The big Fin was the another integral part of the Liverpool defence, chipping in with goals against Juventus in their run to the final. He held the Liverpool captaincy for 2002 before losing it to emerging midfielder Steven Gerrard. The £2.6 million bargain buy, finished a successful 10 years at Liverpool in 2009, moving to Bayer Leverkuesen. After 51 appearences and 3 goals for the German side, Sami Hyypia became joint-manager in 2012 alongside Sascha Lewandowski.
LB – Djimi Traore
Although not one the best remembered players of Liverpools past, Djimi Traore still played a part in Liverpools success that season. He is best remembered for his shocking own goal that knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup at the hands of Burnley, but Traore was an example of someone who repayed Benitez’ faith in him with plenty of solid displays. He conceded the free-kick which would be scored by Paolo Maldini in the Final. In the second half his play improved, and “a goalline clearance to deny Shevchenko a likely winner”, contributed to his winning of a Champions League medal. He left in 2006 due to lack of playing opportunities and played for Charlton, Portsmouth, Rennes, Birmingham, Monaco, Marseille and currently Seattle Sounders.
CDM – Xabi Alonso
When asked which player a to bring back to Liverpool, Xabi Alonso’s name is bound to appear. He was exeptional for the Reds during his time at the club. His range of passing skills and vision brought a whole new dimension to Liverpool alongside Steven Gerrard. He will remain a Liverpool hero and an important component of the Champions League winning team, scoring the equaliser after missing a penalty. In 2009, Alonso broke Scouse hearts as he moved to Real Madrid for £30 million amid rumour of Gareth Barry moving to Liverpool. Alonso has settled straight into the Los Merengues, playing 126 times.