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Where are they now? Liverpool’s Champions League finalists of 2007

Liverpool 2007 Champions League final
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Attacking midfield: Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard 2007

The homegrown hero couldn’t repeat his Istanbul act from 2007, and missed a glorious one-on-one chance to equalise just after the hour mark in Athens.

Gerrard was never able to win the Champions League again in another decade at Liverpool post-2005, and famously never managed to win the Premier League either as the Reds fell agonisingly short in 2013/14 after that slip.

The midfielder left for LA Galaxy in 2015, then retired a year later to combine BT Sport punditry with his role as Liverpool under-18s manager. In May 2018, Gerrard stepped into management for the first time when he landed the Rangers job. He enjoyed an encouraging first season, leading the Gers back to the Europa League group stage and second place in the Scottish Premiership – albeit nine points behind winners Celtic.

Left wing: Boudewijn Zenden  

Boudewijn Zenden 2007

Zenden, or “Bolo” as he was commonly known, spent six years of his career in England across three different clubs from 2001 to 2007 – then returned for another two-year stint with Sunderland in 2009.  

The Dutch winger only scored twice for Liverpool in his two injury-ravaged years on Merseyside, but featured heavily in their Champions League campaign of 2006/07. The final turned out to be Zenden’s last game for the club, and he left on a free transfer to Marseille before retiring at Sunderland in 2011.

Now 41, the Dutchman has since moved into coaching, and hooked up with former manager Benitez as the Spaniard’s assistant at Chelsea. He then became assistant manager to Dennis Haar at Jong PSV in the Dutch second division, and now works as a coach with PSV's first team.

Right wing: Jermaine Pennant

Jermaine Pennant 2007

The only English player to play in a Champions League final, but never for his country. Pennant’s career has been full of strange twists and turns.

After scoring a hat-trick on his league debut for Arsenal – having previously been English football’s most expensive trainee at £2m – Pennant’s career never really took off as expected. He struggled to hold down a starting place at many of the clubs he played for, though his time at Liverpool was probably his most successful – 81 appearances in total, and he was very much a first-team regular in his first season of 2006/07.

It wasn’t to last, though: by January 2009 he was out on loan to Portsmouth, then gone altogether for a year in La Liga with Zaragoza. There were two good years at Stoke, but then his career petered into relative insignificance with short-term spells at Wolves (loan), Pune City, Wigan, Tampine Rovers and, most recently, Billericay Town, where he left after just four months.

Striker: Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt 2007

Strong Anfield favourite Kuyt was Liverpool’s late goalscorer in Athens, latching on to Agger’s flick in the 89th minute – but he might not have made the game at all after Peter Crouch almost ploughed into him with a go-kart.

The industrious forward, famous for his six-yard-box hat-trick against Manchester United in 2011, left Liverpool for Fenerbache in 2012 and remained in Turkey for three seasons before rejoining old side Feyenoord. Fittingly, he netted a treble on his final appearance for them in May 2017, aged 36, to extend his all-time scoring record at De Kuip.

Despite announcing his retirement in 2017, Kuyt returned to help out his fourth-tier first club Quick Boys before being appointed coach of Feyenoord's Under-19 side last summer.

BIG INTERVIEW Kuyt on THAT go-kart incident and more

Substitutes

Harry Kewell

Harry Kewell 2007

One of Australia’s finest footballing exports, Kewell replaced Bolo Zenden in the 59th minute of this game but couldn’t really affect it.

The midfielder’s Liverpool career in general was a case of what could have been, with injuries ultimately hampering his progress at Anfield. The story that emerged in the years following Kewell’s departure was that Liverpool dropped their interest in a young Cristiano Ronaldo to sign him – a decision which the Australian maintains was the right one.

After five years at Liverpool he joined Galatasaray, and later turned out for Melbourne Victory, Al-Gharafa and Melbourne Heart before moving into coaching.

A stint in charge of Watford’s under-21s was unsuccessful, but he led Crawley Town to 14th in League Two last season before departing for divisional rivals Notts County at the start of the 2018/19 campaign. It proved to be a disastrous move: Kewell was sacked after 14 games in charge after recording just three wins to leave the club in 22nd place.

Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch 2007

When all is said and done, Crouch may never get the credit he deserves for his footballing ability. The 2007 final was one of 134 appearances for Liverpool from 2005 to 2008, when he was thrown on as a 78th-minute substitute as the Reds chased an equaliser.

The 6ft 7in striker scored 42 times in his three seasons at Anfield, and was their top scorer in 2006/07 across all competitions with 18 goals.

He appeared at two World Cups for England, and after leaving Liverpool in 2008 played for Portsmouth, Spurs and Stoke, before returning to the Premier League with Burnley in January on a deal until the end of the season. Now a Twitter star with his own podcast and even a ‘Crouchfest’ music festival lined up, his post-playing career promises to be equally entertaining.

Alvaro Arbeloa

The man who replaced Steve Finnan on the night, and would ultimately make the right-back position at Anfield his own in the years after 2007.

He returned to former club Real Madrid in 2009 – twice winning the Champions League, in 2014 and 2016 – and retired in 2017 after an instantly forgettable season with West Ham.

Currently working in the Spanish media and as a Real Madrid ambassador, he was left delighted by the Reds’ miraculous comeback against Barcelona in the semi-final second leg, writing on Twitter: “What a night!!! UNBELIEVABLE! Hope to see you in Madrid winning the Champions League!”

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