Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool men, yesterday, secured FA Cup victorry over Chelsea in an entertaining game at Wembley.
It was the second time the two sides were meeting in a domestic final this season and like in the EFL Cup, it was the Reds who emerged victorious on penalties.
The win made it the first time in several years that Liverpool have won the FA Cup.
Liverpool’s previous FA Cup came 16 years earlier, also via kicks from the penalty spot. That victory on penalties came after a 3-3 barnburner against West Ham.
So who are the players who were involved and where are they now?
Despite the Spaniard’s penalty heroics, it was a pretty poor day for Reina. He was arguably at fault for all three goals – miscommunication with Jamie Carragher for the first, a fumble for Dean Ashton’s second and then Paul Konchesky’s cross caught Reina out and landed in the net.
However, until the signing and subsequent impact of Alisson, Reina was arguably Liverpool’s finest goalkeeper of the modern era with 396 appearances for the club over an nine-year-spell from 2005-2014. He won three Premier League Golden Glove awards and was Liverpool’s Player of the Season in the 2009/2010 campaign.
Since leaving Anfield he has played for Napoli, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Aston Villa, during a brief 12-game return to the Premier League in 2020, and is currently at Lazio. Now 39, he also won 36 caps for Spain and was part of their European Championship-winning squads in 2008 and 2012 and the victorious World Cup squad in 2010, although he was understudy to Iker Casillas.
Probably the most understated member of this squad, Finnan was a reliable presence at right-back across his 217 appearances for Liverpool between 2003-2008.
In his final season at the club he lost his place with Rafa Benitez preferring Alvaro Arbeloa and when Philipp Degen arrived, he was pushed further down the pecking order. The Reds attempted to use him as makeshift in their failed pursuit of Gareth Barry before Finnan joined Spanish side Espanyol. After a season in Spain, he signed for Portsmouth for one season but his last professional appearance came in May 2010.
He has proved an elusive figure since his retirement and is rumoured to live in London and work in property development. On a 10-year-anniversary event for the Champions League 2005 win, the ECHO launched a campaign to help locate Finnan. He remains the only player to play at all four levels of English league football, the National League, the Champions League, UEFA Cup, the Intertoto Cup and the World Cup.
With 464 appearances Hyypia is 20th on the list of all-time Liverpool appearance makers. After a decorated 10 years where the Finnish international won 10 trophies, he had an emotional goodbye after his final game in 2009. He was carried around the pitch by his Liverpool teammates and received a standing ovation from supporters.
He joined Bayer Leverkusen in 2009 and played there for two years. This didn’t stop Roy Hodgson launching an ambitious bid to bring him back to Anfield in the summer of 2010 which ultimately failed. After retiring in 2011 he moved into coaching and was Leverkusen manager from 2012-2014. He was appointed Brighton manager ahead of the 2014/2015 campaign but was sacked after less than half a season with the club in the Championship relegation zone. He has since had spells at FC Zurich and as assistant manager at FC Haka in Finland.
Carragher needs no introduction to Liverpool fans. He is the club’s second-longest-ever serving player in a 17-year spell from 1996-2013 after joining the youth team in 1988. He is also second on the list of all-time Liverpool appearance makers with 737, only behind Ian Callaghan. He retired at the end of the 2013 season.
Since retiring, Carragher has dedicated himself to charity work across Merseyside while also becoming one of the most well-known pundits in the game. The to-and-fro and banter between Carragher and Gary Neville has become iconic for football fans, while he also writes for the Telegraph and provides Champions League coverage for CBS Sports.
Having won 11 trophies for the club, been awarded the freedom of Sefton and receiving an honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University, there is no doubt ‘Carra’ is a Liverpool legend.
John Arne Riise
After 348 appearances and 31 goals across a seven-year spell, Riise will always go down in Liverpool folklore. Following the cup final, he continued to be a key part of Benitez’s team over the next 18 months but then slowly began to fall out of favour.
A disastrous and decisive last-minute own goal against Chelsea in the Champions League in 2008 coupled with the rise of Fabio Aurelio and the signing of Andre Dossena marked the end for the Norwegian. He was ostracised by Benitez and despite wanting to stay, was sold to Roma in a £4m deal in 2008. He subsequently played for clubs as varied as Fulham, APOEL, Delhi Dynamos, Aalesund, Chennaiyin and Rollon before he retired in 2017.
Since retiring, he has been a Sporting Director at Maltese club Birkirkara. He also managed Norwegian Third Division side Flint Tonsberg and is currently coach of women’s side Avaldsnes IL who play in Norway’s top tier.
Kewell remained at Anfield until 2008 before he joined Galatasaray after not being offered a new deal at Liverpool following injury struggles. He spent three years in Turkey before he had stints back in his homeland at Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, sandwiched by a short stint at Qatari club Al-Gharafa.
In 2016 he received the Alex Tobin Medal, Australia’s most prestigious football honour, for his achievements during the course of his career. Following retirement he cut his cloth in coaching and was in charge of Watford under-23s between 2015-2017. Since then, he has had mixed spells as manager at Crawley, Notts County, Oldham and Barnet, the latter of which he was sacked from after just seven games earlier this season.
Liverpool’s talisman and hero in Cardiff went on to make 710 appearances for the Reds. After leaving in 2015, he spent a season in the MLS with LA Galaxy before returning to coach Liverpool’s youngsters in the academy. He had a variety of roles including managing the under-18 and under-19 teams.
He was appointed Rangers manager in May 2018 and remained at Ibrox for the next three and a half years. He guided the club to two second placed finishes before they won the title last season. Gerrard led his team to an undefeated campaign for their first title in 10 years.
In November 2021, he left Rangers to join Aston Villa as Dean Smith’s replacement. After a mixed start, Gerrard has won 10 of his 24 games in charge and will hope to have a say in the title race as Villa travel to Manchester City on the final day.
Alonso continued to be a linchpin of Benitez’s Liverpool team over the following few years. However, a breakdown in relations with his manager during his final season led to the Spaniard putting in a transfer request and leaving for Real Madrid in a £30m deal in the summer of 2009.
He spent five years at Madrid before he moved to Bayern Munich from 2014-2017. Across both clubs he won 10 trophies, including a Champions League while at Los Blancos. He also won Euro 2008 and 2012, and the 2010 World Cup with Spain.
After retiring and completing his coaching badges, he spent a period leading Real Madrid’s under-14s. In 2019 he was appointed manager of Real Sociedad B and has since won 40 of his 95 games, which has included a historic promotion into La Liga 2, the first time the club has played at that level since the 1961/1962 season. He has continually been linked with jobs across Europe and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to England in a managerial role in the future.
Sissoko became somewhat of a cult hero at Anfield during his spell. He was crucial in the 2005/2006 FA Cup triumph as he played every game in the competition. However, having suffered a serious eye injury in a Champions League clash earlier that season against Benfica, he struggled to hit the same heights.
He apparently rejected offers from Barcelona and Juventus in 2007 to stay at Liverpool, although eventually moved to Juventus in 2008 after 81 appearances on Merseyside.
He then moved on to PSG in 2011 before he departed in 2013. The second half of his career was nomadic as the Mali international had spells in Italy, Spain, China, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and France, before he retired in 2020.
The FA Cup final was the Frenchman’s last game for the club as he moved to Marseilles shortly afterwards having scored 24 goals in 82 appearances for Liverpool. He was prolific in France and also for Panathinaikos in Greece. He returned to the Premier League twice – an impressive loan spell with Sunderland and a mixed period with QPR.
Cisse’s career also encapsulated stints in Italy, Qatar, Russia, Reunion and Switzerland. He retired in 2015 due to injury before reversing his decision for a successful season at Swiss side Yverdon in 2017/2018. He also had a cameo role in French film Taxi 4, launched his own clothing range and appeared on the French version of Mask Singer last year.
Crouch stayed at Anfield until 2008 as he scored 42 goals for the club across three seasons. He signed for Portsmouth for £11m before he went on to play for Tottenham, Stoke City and Burnley. Crouch is one of only nine players to have scored for six different Premier League clubs.
He retired in 2019 at the age of 38. Crouch is on a list of 33 players to have scored more than 100 Premier League goals with the former England international ending on 108. He also holds the record for the most headers scored in the league’s history.
Crouch has since become an extremely popular pundit and media figure. This includes his successful Peter Crouch podcast, while he is regularly seen on BT Sport. He also became a director of National League South side Dulwich Hamlet in June 2021.
Fernando Morientes (subbed on for Kewell after 48 minutes)
The Spaniard endured a largely disappointing 18-month spell at Anfield after his €9.3m move from Real Madrid. He scored just 12 times in 61 appearances and returned to Spain following the FA Cup win as he signed for Valencia. He re-captured his form at the Mestalla before he spent one year at Marseilles.
Morientes retired in 2010 although he briefly came out of retirement to play for DAV Santa Ana in 2015. In the interim, he had coached in both the Huracan Valencia CF and Real Madrid youth teams. He was appointed manager of CF Fuenlabrada in June 2015, who played in the third tier of Spanish football.
However, he was sacked after just eight months and hasn’t returned to the dugout since. He currently is an ambassador for La Liga and undertakes various media work.
Jan Kromkamp (subbed on for Alonso after 67 minutes)
The Dutchman signed from Villarreal in January 2006 but he made just 14 appearances at Anfield. This was due to a combination of his struggles and also the form of Finnan. He had arrived as part of a swap deal with Josemi going the other way.
He made just one appearance the following season before he signed for PSV Eindhoven. He remained there until 2011 but struggled with injuries. He then joined Go Ahead Eagles for a two-year spell before he retired in 2013, aged 33, as a result of chronic knee problems. He now manages CSV Apeldoorn who play in the sixth tier of Dutch football.
Didi Hamann (subbed on for Crouch after 71 minutes)
Hamann was another player to leave Liverpool after the cup triumph. This ended the German’s seven year stay at the club where he amassed 283 appearances. He caused controversy upon leaving as he signed a pre-contract agreement with Bolton before changing his mind a day later. He signed for Man City instead, who had to pay £400,000 in compensation to Bolton.
Hamann spent three years at City before he ended his career with a player-coach role at MK Dons. He then joined Leicester City as a coach before a short but unsuccessful four-month stint as manager of Stockport County in late 2011. The German has since worked as a pundit while he also wrote a book in 2013 entitled ‘The Didi Man: My Love Affair With Liverpool’.