Where are they now? Chelsea’s Champions League winners of 2012
It’s eight years since Chelsea won the Champions League for the first and only time after a series of near-misses following Roman Abramovic’s takeover.
Having gone to PSG and back again, David Luiz is the last player that featured in that penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich to leave the club.
At the end of an era, now’s as good a time as any to check where the 13 players that played that night ended up.
The Czech international called time on his playing career, which included nearly 450 Premier League appearances, after losing the Europa League final to his former club in 2019.
His years at Arsenal weren’t quite as successful, but he added another FA Cup to the four he won at Chelsea. He’s now back at Stamford Bridge as a technical and performance advisor.
The Champions League final was Bosingwa’s final appearance for Chelsea, but he stayed around in West London for another year, playing in QPR’s miserable relegation in 2012-13.
As is often the case with former high-profile European players, he saw out the twilight years of his career in the Turkish Super Lig, playing for Trabzonspor, before retiring from football in 2016.
Luiz won two more European honours with Chelsea, the Europa League in 2013 and 2019, as well as the Premier League in 2017.
He left the club for a second time when he signed for Arsenal on transfer deadline day in 2019.
Cahill’s time at Chelsea peaked just a few short months after signing from Bolton in January 2012, but he would enjoy six more happy years at Stamford Bridge, winning a pair of Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
He left at the end of his contract in 2019 after being frozen out by Maurizio Sarri, and has linked back up with his former England manager Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace.
Cole called time on his 20-year playing career, which included 12 major honours and four inclusions in the PFA Team Of The Season in 2019 after a short stint playing under Frank Lampard at Derby County, with his last game a defeat to Aston Villa – with John Terry on the opposite bench – in the Championship play-off final.
The 39-year-old then returned to Stamford Bridge as an Under-15 Academy coach.
Ashley Cole’s mispronunciations are hilarious 😂 pic.twitter.com/vfMz4hbgda
— Theo (@Thogden) August 30, 2019
John Obi Mikel
Cole wasn’t the only former Chelsea stalwart to feature in the Championship last season. After a year in China, Mikel returned to Europe to feature for Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough, but he couldn’t help turn their season around as they missed out on a play-off place.
He joined Trabzonspor ahead of the 2019-20 season, but left the Turkish club in March 2020 after expressing his concerns about the Super Lig continuing amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
After 648 appearances and 211 goals, Lampard eventually left Chelsea after 13 seasons in 2014.
He turned out for Manchester City for a year before spending the final years of his playing career at their sister club, New York City.
He since guided Derby to the play-off final in his first year in management and is now, of course, back in the dugout at Chelsea.
Along with Bosingwa, that Munich final would be Kalou’s final appearance for Chelsea. He subsequently spent a couple of years at Lille before joining Hertha Berlin, where he remains after five seasons and more than 170 appearances.
Bertrand made his Champions League debut that night, playing for 73 minutes in midfield before getting substituted for Florent Malouda.
After four years on the fringes, he was finally given more opportunities the following season under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez, making 19 appearances in the league and 10 in Europe, before being sold to Southampton in 2014. He’s now in his sixth season with the Saints.
Lovely, lovely Juan Mata left for what was then David Moyes’ Manchester United midway through the 2013-14 season after a somewhat frosty relationship with Jose Mourinho.
Fate would conspire to see them reunite at Old Trafford, where he remains five years on. It feels weird that he’s made twice as many Premier League appearances for United than Chelsea, doesn’t it?
The man for the big occasion’s career ultimately hit its zenith with that header and that penalty. He had a strange few years to round off his playing career after that.
He left the club shortly after that final, going to play in China for Shanghai Shenhua to play with his former strike partner Nicolas Anelka, but that only lasted a few months.
After 18 months with Galatasaray, he returned to Chelsea in the summer of 2014 to play a bit-part role in the 2014-15 title win, before seeing out his playing career in North America with Montreal Impact and Arizona Rising.
The 42-year-old is now running a campaign to try and become president of the Ivorian Football Federation.
Leaving Chelsea for Trabzonspor in 2013, Malouda has since featured for Metz, Delhi Dynamos and Luxembourg club FC Differdange.
After hanging up his boots, he became a coach at FC Zurich in February 2019 but was released after just two months.
It appears someone forgot to tell Malouda of the news, though.
really I didn't know that..??
— Florent MALOUDA (@realflorentm) April 11, 2019
The World Cup winner recently called time on his 18-year playing career at Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
After a few awkward years between Chelsea and AC Milan, Torres enjoyed an Indian summer at his boyhood club Atletico Madrid, where he came close to winning Ol’ Big Ears for a second time but ended up on the losing side of a penalty shootout in the 2016 final.