Skip to main content

Where are they now? Liverpool's 2005 Champions League winners

Jerzy Dudek

The Poland international made himself an instant hero with a double save to deny Andriy Shevchenko in the closing stages

Goalkeeper Dudek will always be asked about his match-winning contributions during Liverpool's Champions League victory over Milan in 2005. Despite mounting an incredible comeback from three goals down at half-time, the Reds could still have lost the match in extra time were it not for their oft-maligned custodian.

The Poland international made himself an instant hero with a double save to deny Andriy Shevchenko in the closing stages, before repelling penalties from Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko in the shootout.

Despite his heroics, Dudek immediately lost his place in the team to new signing Pepe Reina. In 2007 he earned a surprise move to Real Madrid, where he spent four seasons as Iker Casillas's seldom-used back-up.

Two years after hanging his gloves up in 2011, the goalkeeper came out of retirement to make one final appearance for Poland in a 2-0 friendly win over Liechtenstein. This allowed him to win his 60th cap, the minimum number required to be inducted into his country’s Hall of Fame.

In 2014 he completed his first season as a racing driver in the Volkswagen Castrol Cup, was an ambassador for the 2015 Europa League Final in Warsaw, and in 2016 released his autobiography A Big Pole in Our Goal.

Steve Finnan

The full-back was a regular for the Reds from 2004 to 2008, appearing in both Champions League finals in 2005 and 2007

He might only have scored a single top-flight goal for Liverpool, but Finnan’s solitary strike meant he had the unique achievement of being one of only two players to have netted in each of the five highest divisions in English football.

The full-back was a regular for the Reds from 2004 to 2008, appearing in both Champions League finals in 2005 and 2007, but thereafter lost his place in the side when manager Rafael Benitez preferred to start Spaniard Alvaro Arbeloa ahead of him.

A move to Espanyol followed, but with injuries limiting him to a handful of appearances, the Ireland international was constantly linked with a return to the Premier League. He finally secured a move back to England with Portsmouth in 2008, but wasn't offered a contract extension after the club went into administration and was relegated.

Strangely enough, when a 10th-anniversary Istanbul reunion was planned, Finnan was the only player the organisers were unable to track down, which led to a Twitter campaign to #FindSteveFinnan. The bemused 41-year-old was finally discovered in London, where he's currently running a property development company with his brother.

NEXT: He didn't use his coaching badges

Jamie Carragher

A rare one-club man, the Liverpool great spent 17 years at Anfield and was vice-captain for a decade

After retiring in 2013, former England international Jamie Carragher has remained in the spotlight thanks to his high-profile role as one of Sky Sports’ leading pundits. A rare one-club man, the Liverpool great spent 17 years at Anfield and was vice-captain for a decade.

These days, Carragher usually finds himself paired up with one-time rival and fellow analyst Gary Neville; while neither were the flashiest of players on the pitch, they've proven a very effective team on-screen, drawing plenty of praise from football lovers around the world.

Though the former Liverpool defender once harboured hopes of stepping into a managerial role, he's since admitted that such a job doesn’t hold as much of an appeal these days. He has a UEFA ‘B’ level coaching badge, but Carragher revealed in aDaily Mailcolumn that he was uncomfortable with the pressure put on managers at the highest level, having seen two coaches he admired – Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez – leave Anfield worse for wear.

Sami Hyppia

Hyppia moved into coaching with Bayer, then Brighton and FC Zurich

The “Finnish Iceberg” was a fans' favourite throughout his 10 years in Anfield. Joining the club in 1999, he quickly established himself in the first team and formed a solid partnership with Swiss defender Stephane Henchoz in the heart of the backline.

By 2001, he – as team captain – led Liverpool to a Treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup, but his highest honour came with the Champions League victory four years later.

After that magical night in Istanbul, Hyypia wore the Reds' shirt for four more years before signing a two-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen, despite Liverpool offering him the chance to stay at Anfield in a coaching role.

In Leverkusen, he and Sascha Lewandowski were named joint-caretaker managers for a year following Robin Dutt’s sacking. After a brief stint as sole boss, he continued his coaching career at Brighton and Hove Albion before resigning in the face of some poor results in 2014/15. He then spent a season at FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League, but departed after they were relegated to the second tier.

NEXT: He ended up in MLS (no, not him)

Djimi Traore

He made a crucial goalline clearance to deny Andriy Shevchenko what would surely have been the winner

The Mali international spent seven years at Anfield and, despite winning a number of trophies – including the 2003 League Cup and 2006 FA Cup – he's best known for his infamous “Traore Turn”. With the ball at his feet and little danger around him in a cup tie at Burnley, Traore’s attempted spin resulted in the ball ending up in the back of his own net.

The full-back remained a regular starter under Rafa Benitez, though, and began the Champions League final against Milan. His first-half performance wasn't far from a horror show, but he did improve significantly in the second half and made a crucial goalline clearance to deny Andriy Shevchenko what would surely have been the winner.

After spells at Charlton, Birmingham, Monaco and Marseille, the Frenchman spent two years in Major League Soccer with the Seattle Sounders before retiring in 2014. He's currently assistant coach of the Sounders' second team.

Xabi Alonso

As the Liverpool comeback was gathering full pace in Istanbul, it was Alonso who scored the crucial third goal

Brought in by Rafa Benitez in 2004, Alonso formed a memorable midfield trio alongside Javier Mascherano and club captain Steven Gerrard. It didn't take long for the Spaniard to become a key player at Anfield, helping the club to the Champions League trophy in his first season.

As the Liverpool comeback was gathering full pace in Istanbul, it was Alonso who scored the decisive third goal, tucking home the rebound after his penalty was saved.

He eventually secured a switch to Real Madrid ahead of the 2009/10 season, spending five seasons with the Spanish giants and claiming another Champions League crown in 2014.

He's just retired after three seasons and as many Bundesliga titles at Bayern Munich, but couldn't lay his hands on another continental trophy during his time in Bavaria. 

NEXT: He played in India

Luis Garcia

He scored a controversial "ghost goal" in the semi-final win over Chelsea

Luis Garcia's useful knack for scoring crucial goals was in evidence during Liverpool's remarkable run to the 2005 Champions League Final.

The winger netted in the quarter-final against Juventus, as well as scoring a controversial "ghost goal" in the semi-final win over Chelsea.

In summer 2007 he returned to Spain and signed for former club Atletico Madrid, before going on to feature for Racing Santander, Panathinaikos in Greece and Mexican duo Puebla FC and Club Universidad Nacional.

Initially retiring in January 2014, he reversed that decision to spend a single season in India with Atletico Kolkata. The 38-year-old has since visited Uganda to promote a charity match involving Barcelona legends, and finished his career with A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

Steven Gerrard

The midfielder left behind an enduring legacy at Anfield, helping the Merseysiders to seven trophies in his 17 years there as a player

Liverpool born and bred, Gerrard's now back at the club as U19 coach after enjoying the warmer climate of Los Angeles, playing in MLS with the Galaxy.

Widely considered one of the finest players produced by the Liverpool academy, the 36-year-old joined the American side after the Reds finished sixth in the Premier League in 2014/15.

Many expected Gerrard to retire at Anfield but he made his mind up to leave after Liverpool decided against offering him an extension during the summer of 2014. Being benched for key games by manager Brendan Rodgers was reportedly another reason for his departure. 

The midfielder left behind an enduring legacy at Anfield, helping the Merseysiders to seven trophies in his 17 years there as a player: the Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups and the 2001 UEFA Cup.

Individually, Gerrard won the 2005 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award and was picked in the PFA's team of the year a record eight times. As Liverpool’s longest-serving captain he made 695 appearances and scored 180 goals for the club. 

NEXT: His shot broke someone's leg

John Arne Riise

He went on to make 348 appearances for the club, scoring 31 times, before moving to Roma at the start of the 2008/09 season

Signed for the Reds in August 2001, Riise netted on his debut in a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup. He went on to make 348 appearances for the club, scoring 31 times, before moving to Roma at the start of the 2008/09 season.

He became a fans' favourite in the Italian capital due to his on-field commitment - the fact that he scored against both Milan clubs in his first season also helped - and later moved back to England with Fulham. Norway's most-capped player is currently plying his trade back home for SK Rollon after a stint in the Indian Super League with Chennaiyin FC.

Riise was known for his direct running and thunderous shots from range – just ask Manchester United's Alan Smith, who ended up with a broken leg and dislocated ankle after standing in the way of one of Riise's powerful efforts in 2006. 

Harry Kewell

Kewell lasted just 23 minutes of the final before he damaged his abductor muscle

After joining Liverpool in 2003 following a stellar spell at Leeds, Kewell enjoyed a fine debut campaign, scoring 10 goals and impressing the Anfield faithful with his talent.

Injury problems soon kicked in, though, and the Australian was forced to depart after just 23 minutes of the 2005 Champions League Final when he damaged his abductor muscle. Some Liverpool fans took out their frustration on the player himself, who struggled to stay fit throughout his time on Merseyside.

Kewell departed in 2008 for Galatasaray, where he received a hero’s welcome and scored at a rate of a goal every three games over a three-year spell. He then spent a season each with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart in the A-League, either side of a brief stint with Al-Gharafa in Qatar.

Working at his own junior academy upon retirement in 2014, he later accepted a role coaching Watford’s U21s before being sacked less than eight months later. All was not lost for Kewell, though, who has just got his big break as manager of League Two Crawley. 

NEXT: The speedy nine-club wanderer

Milan Baros

He had his driving licence confiscated after clocking 168mph on a French freeway

To say Baros is well-travelled would be something of an understatement: the Czech striker's represented nine clubs in his 19-year career, a number which may yet increase - the 35-year-old is still playing professionally for Slovan Liberec. Not bad for a man who had his driving licence confiscated after clocking 168mph on a French freeway.

Having been capped by the Czech Republic after scoring plenty for Banik Ostrava, he joined Liverpool in 2002 and scored twice on his debut at Bolton. He helped the club win the 2003 League Cup Final against Manchester United and won the Euro 2004 Golden Boot. 

In the Istanbul final he was replaced by Djibril Cisse in the 85th minute, meaning he was forced to watch the penalty shootout from the sidelines. It was his final match for Liverpool; Baros was sold to Aston Villa that summer, then moved to Lyon (hence the speeding ticket) and Galatasaray before heading back home to various Czech clubs.

Sub: Vladimir Smicer

Smicer stood for election to the European Parliament to raise awareness of childhood obesity

Smicer peaked in the right place. He made 121 appearances and scored 10 goals for Liverpool from 1999 until 2005, but he is understandably best-remembered for leaving an indelible mark on the Champions League final.

After replacing an injured Harry Kewell early on, the Czech scored the Reds’ second goal, a long-range effort in the 56th minute, and also buried Liverpool’s final penalty during the shootout.

Smicer's Liverpool contract expired after that game, and he moved to France with Bordeaux that summer. He then made the decision to return to first club Slavia Prague two years later, before calling it a day in 2009.

After ending his playing days, Smicer immediately began working with Czech Republic head coach Michal Bilek, while he also turned his hand to politics in 2014, standing for election to the European Parliament in a bid to raise awareness of childhood obesity.

NEXT: To MK Dons, Leicester and Stockport

Sub: Dietmar Hamann

He helped to shore up the midfield and allowed Steven Gerrard to push forward

One of the most popular Liverpool players of the modern era, the man known as ‘Didi’ arrived at Anfield from Newcastle ahead of the 1999/2000 season.

The Germany international spent seven seasons with the club and still gets teased for his Scouse twang. Part of the side that won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup Treble in 2001, the holding midfielder was left on the bench for the Champions League final, a decision that was widely considered a major mistake - at least in hindsight.

With the Reds trailing 3-0 at half-time and Benitez looking for a spark, defender Steve Finnan was removed and Hamann thrown into the fray in his place. The German helped to shore up the midfield and allowed Steven Gerrard to push forward and work his magic in advanced areas; the rest, as they say, is history.

Hamann then spent three seasons at Manchester City before taking on a player-coach role at MK Dons. After two brief coaching stints with Leicester and Stockport, Hamann turned to punditry instead – and started making terrible predictions.

Sub: Djibril Cisse

He scored both of Liverpool's goals in their final Premier League match of the campaign against Aston Villa, a 2-1 victory

The France international moved to Liverpool in 2004 and made 24 first-team appearances in all competitions that season, scoring five goals. But then commenced a wretched run with injuries, as Cisse broke his leg on two occasions.

The first came against Blackburn in 2004, when he fractured his tibia and fibula in seemingly innocuous circumstances, an incident which was expected to rule him out for the season.

He returned just six months later, however, coming on as substitute against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final in April 2005. He scored both of Liverpool's goals in their final Premier League match of the campaign against Aston Villa, a 2-1 victory, and converted a penalty in the Champions League final shoot-out.

After that, Cisse broke his leg again while on international duty for France during a friendly against China, and barely played for Liverpool again. After leaving Anfield he represented nine clubs in France, England, Greece, Italy, Russia and the Indian Ocean island of Reunion before retiring in 2015. 

An intriguing character, Cisse has been entitled Lord of the Manor of Frodsham, refused the local hunt permission to use his land, starred in a French comedy film and TF1's version of Strictly Come Dancing, launched a clothing range, been questioned over an alleged extortion plot (he denies any involvement), and converted from Islam to Catholicism. He's now a DJ. 

NEXT: Rafa the gaffer

Manager: Rafael Benitez

Benitez joined Liverpool from Valencia, where he'd won two league titles and a UEFA Cup, to replace Gerard Houllier in 2004.

It was a rather turbulent time at Anfield: Michael Owen departed for Real Madrid a short time later, while there were also numerous reports linking Steven Gerrard to Chelsea.

"Rafa the gaffer" guided Liverpool to Champions League success in 2005 and an FA Cup triumph the following season, much to the fans' delight. He then came within four points of a first league title in almost two decades in 2009, eventually finishing second behind Manchester United.

But from there things quickly went south. A seventh-place finish in the league, combined with early exits from the cup competitions, led to his dismissal in 2010. Stints at Inter, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid followed, before he joined Newcastle in March 2016.

New features you'd love on FourFourTwo.com