Snap shot: Gerrard and Liverpool's Istanbul heroes
Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as the new Rangers manager. The former Liverpool captain will always be remembered on Merseyside for his role in the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ – the Reds’ stunning comeback against AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final. With the ex-England captain now gearing up for his first senior managerial post, and Liverpool preparing for another showpiece, we look at where his team-mates from that night in Turkey are now.
1. Jamie Carragher
A one-club man, defender Carragher made over 700 Liverpool appearances between 1997 and 2013. Istanbul was the high point of a career that brought two FA Cups, three English League Cups, the UEFA Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. Winner of 38 England caps, he has become a television pundit and columnist since retirement.
2. Xabi Alonso
After forging a reputation as a fine ball-playing midfielder at Real Sociedad, Alonso moved to Liverpool in 2004 and was key in Istanbul, scoring the third. He excelled throughout his five-year Anfield stint before even greater success with Real Madrid and Bayern. Also pivotal to Spain’s trophy-laden epoch, he retired at the end of last season.
3. Steven Gerrard
Synonymous with the club and particularly the 2005 final – he was man of the match, his header sparking the revival – midfielder Gerrard ended his playing days at LA Galaxy after 16 years with Liverpool. He returned as a youth coach before taking the Rangers job on a four-year deal.
4. Jerzy Dudek
Keeper Dudek’s double stop at the death, as well as two shoot-out saves, clinched glory in Istanbul. He subsequently lost his place to Pepe Reina, joining Real Madrid as understudy to Iker Casillas in 2007. Capped 60 times by Poland, he was ambassador for the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League final … and plays a lot of golf.
5. Igor Bišćan
An unused sub in Istanbul, the versatile ex-Croatian international left that same summer for Panathinaikos, and later rejoined home-town team Dinamo Zagreb to finish his career. He retired in 2012 and dabbled in futsal, newspaper punditry and amateur tennis before becoming Rudeš coach. Now at the Olimpija Ljubljana helm.
6. Djimi Traoré
The full-back played his part in Istanbul, making a goal-saving clearance from Andriy Shevchenko, but his opportunities dried up the following term. Further spells in England, France and the MLS followed before his retirement in 2014. Now assistant at Seattle Sounders, where he hung up his boots.
7. Luis García
Scorer of the only goal of the semi-final with Chelsea, Barcelona product García played all 120 minutes of the final. An industrious left-footed midfielder and strong in the air for his height, he was a popular figure at Anfield. He left in 2007 for Atlético, subsequently plying his trade in Greece, Mexico, India and Australia, and later going into punditry.
8. John Arne Riise
The most-capped Norwegian ever, left-back Riise came to Anfield in 2001 from Monaco and impressed with his left foot. The sole Liverpool man to miss a spot kick in the final, he remained a firm fixture until signing for Roma in 2008. Riise then went to Fulham, Cyprus, India, back to Norway and back to India! Now an agent and a pundit.
9. Harry Kewell
A surprise starter in Istanbul, the Australian forward’s final lasted 23 minutes before injury struck. It was indicative of his time at Anfield. He departed for Galatasaray in 2008 before going home to Australia for two spells in Melbourne. Kewell eventually quit playing in March 2014 and coached Watford’s Under-21s. Now in charge of English fourth-tier side Crawley.
10. Milan Baroš
The Czech striker led the line for 85 minutes of the final, one of his last significant acts for Liverpool. Within months he transferred to Aston Villa, then on to Lyon, where he won Ligue 1 in 2006/07. Further stints came at Portsmouth, Galatasaray, boyhood team Baník Ostrava – where he donated his salary to the youth side – Antalyaspor, Mladá Boleslav and Slovan Liberec. Still going strong back at Ostrava for a fourth time.
11. Dietmar Hamann
A catayst for the comeback against Milan, midfielder Hamann converted the Reds’ first penalty of the shoot-out and enjoyed one more season before stays with Man. City and MK Dons. He called time on a stellar career – which included 59 Germany caps – before trying his hand at coaching. He now works as a columnist and TV pundit and is an avid fan of cricket and snooker.
12. Vladimír Šmicer
Attacking midfielder Šmicer came off the bench in Istanbul for his last Liverpool outing, scoring Liverpool’s second goal and final penalty. He left for Bordeaux, before collecting back-to-back titles at first club Slavia Praha. He has since worked as assistant to Czech coach Michal Bílek, become involved in politics – standing for the European Parliament in 2014 – and joined the Slavia board.
13. Steve Finnan
The full-back began his career in non-league football and made his name at Fulham, before heading to Anfield in 2003. Finnan appeared in every game en route to the 2005 final, in which he was substituted at half-time. He lifted the FA Cup 12 months later and had stints with Espanyol and Portsmouth, retiring after losing the 2010 FA Cup final against Chelsea. The Irishman later went into property development.
Out of shot: Sami Hyypiä
The heart of a defence that shipped just six goals on the road to the final, Hyypiä arrived from Willem II in 1999 and became a fans’ favourite over the next decade. He had two seasons with Bayer Leverkusen before retiring in 2011 and moving into coaching with the Bundesliga club. Later managerial assignments followed at Brighton and Hove Albion and Zürich.
Out of shot: Djibril Cissé
Striker Cissé joined Liverpool in 2004, but a broken leg stalled his progress. He was a late substitute in Istanbul and converted a penalty in the shoot-out. Famed for quick feet and outrageous hair, he subsequently played for clubs in France, England, Greece, Qatar and Russia. Among other things, he DJ’ed in support of Mariah Carey after hanging up his boots – yet then came out of retirement to sign for Swiss club Yverdon.
Out of shot: Rafael Benítez
Having guided Valencia to their first Liga title for 31 years, plus the UEFA Cup, Benítez ended his first term at Anfield in style in Istanbul. He led Liverpool to another final in 2007, where Milan got their revenge. The Spaniard has since had varying degrees of success in the dugout at Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid, yet is currently revered at Newcastle.