Where are they now? The Liverpool team that won the 2006 FA Cup final
Liverpool’s penalty shootout win over West Ham in 2006 is undoubtedly one of the greatest finals in the history of the modern FA Cup.
West Ham thought they had finally returned to cup glory, their first trophy since the 1980 edition of the world’s oldest cup competition, only for Steven Gerrard to snatch their victory away.
With a truly legendary injury-time strike, the Liverpool captain made it 3-3 and sent the match to extra-time and then penalties where West Ham, who had been up 2-0 at one point in the match, were defeated.
On that day it wasn’t just Gerrard who was playing for Liverpool at the Millenium Stadium, although at times it might have felt like it.
We’ve taken a look at the Reds’ starting XI and playing substitutes from their last FA Cup final win, and where they are now.
GK: Pepe Reina
Reina had joined Liverpool at the start of the 2005-06 season from Villareal and immediately became Rafa Benitez’s starting goalkeeper.
He performed the penalty kick heroics for Liverpool in this final, saving pens from Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky, and Anton Ferdinand to give his side the win (we’ll ignore he was about 50 yards off his line for all of them, that wasn’t a thing then).
Incredibly he’s still going aged 39 as the backup for Lazio, having started the campaign as their number one.
SAVED!! Reina saves Ferdinand’s penalty! We’ve done it!
The Reds have won the 2006 FA Cup! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/7WGmzfCKsO
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2020
RB: Steve Finnan
You might have forgotten him, but Irishman Finnan had a proper solid career.
It began with Welling in 1993, peaked with Liverpool where he won the Champions League and FA Cup and even included a season in Spain with Espanyol before he retired at Portsmouth in 2010.
In 2015 the Liverpool Echo declared that Finnan was ‘missing’ because they couldn’t locate him, prompting the hashtag #FindSteveFinnan.
As it transpired, he was just living in London working in property development. It didn’t go too great for him though with his company going into liquidation in 2020 and Finnan having to sell a variety of memorabilia including his 2006 Champions League winners medal.
CB: Jamie Carragher
Carragher is still on our screens, but now he’s doing the analysing rather than the playing.
He’s widely regarded as one of the best pundits in football and has struck up an unlikely but entertaining duo with former Manchester United captain Gary Neville.
CB: Sami Hyppia
‘The Big Finn’ is the only player from outside of Britain and Ireland to ever be the official club captain of Liverpool and is still a cult hero at Anfield.
He went straight into coaching and management after he retired and has been in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, Brighton, and FC Zurich.
The 48-year-old joined Finnish side FC Haka in 2020 as assistant manager but left after just three months and hasn’t taken up another role since.
LB: John Arne Riise
After Hyypia, Riise is another Scandinavian hero for Liverpool.
He decided to hang up his boots in 2017 and has just taken over as the manager of the Norwegian top-flight women’s side Avaldsnes.
It’s no easy job; women’s football is, rightly, a big deal in Norway who consistently have one of the best international sides in the world.
“I think many are positively surprised,” Risse has said after being announced as manager.
“I bring my experience as a player to women’s football and hope it can contribute to something positive and make Avaldsnes even more professional.”
RM: Steven Gerrard
He doesn’t need any introduction.
It’s known as the ‘Gerrard final’ for a reason; nominally down as a right midfielder, the truth is Gerrard played absolutely everywhere in this match.
It was one of many stellar performances from the Liverpool captain, who retired from football after a brief spell at LA Galaxy in 2016.
He got his first managerial role with Rangers and led them to the Scottish Premiership title in 2021 before returning to England with Aston Villa.
But forget all that. Just watch this goal, and then watch it again and again and again.
"𝐎𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐦𝐞" 🎙️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2021
CM: Xabi Alonso (Jan Kromkamp, ’67)
Alonso had a great five years at Liverpool before leaving for Real Madrid and is still held in high regard by the Anfield faithful.
He’s currently building his managerial repertoire, having been in charge of Real Sociedad’s B team since 2019. Expect him to make the jump to a first-team manager at some point sooner rather than later.
Kromkamp spent just six months in Merseyside, from January 2006 to August 2006, but had a good display off the bench in the final. He finished his career in 2013 where it started, with the peculiarly named Dutch side Go Ahead Eagles.
There’s no information on what he’s up to now. But since we’re not the Liverpool Echo, we won’t label him a missing person.
CM: Mohamed Sissoko
Across a 17-year career, Sissoko played for 14 different clubs. He spent three years as a rotational player in Liverpool, longer than at any other club in his career and considerably longer than the time he spent at three, yes three, clubs in 2017.
There was some distance between them too; Italian side Ternana, Indonesia side Mitra Kukar and Mexican team Atletico San Luis.
After that, he spent some time with a Hong Kong side before retiring back in France with Souchauz in 2019.
If you’re going to be a journeyman, take a lesson from Sissoko on how to do it right, especially if you can score proper scrappy goals in Mexico like this.
— Liga BBVA Expansión MX (@LigaMXExpansion) January 27, 2018
LM: Harry Kewell (Fernando Morientes, ’48)
Kewell is a proper “oh yeah, I remember him” player.
But what you might not know is he’s become a football manager. He’s been in charge of Crawley, Notts County, Oldham, and most recently Barnet, where he lasted just seven games, not winning a single one.
Morientes replaced Kewell in the 2006 FA Cup final when the Australian sustained an injury. He too has had an ill-fated managerial career, lasting just 25 matches with Spanish lower-league side Fuenlabrada in 2015-16.
Morientes at his prime was one of Spain’s best modern attacking prospects and if there is a Spanish equivalent of a “streets won’t forget” player, then he is one of them.
He won the Champions League three times while he was at Real Madrid in the late 90s and early noughties, but did he ever play for Australian side Macaroni Stallions like Kewell?
We know which career we’d prefer.
ST: Djibril Cisse
Forget the fact Cisse scored in this final and that he won the 2004-05 Champions league because in 2021, he was on the French version of the Masked Singer.
Seriously; he dressed up as a skeleton and sang Mackelmore, which we think outweighs anything he did in his career.
After Anfield, he played all over the world, from Greece and Qatar to Russia and Sunderland.
He finished his career at the incredibly named Panathinaikos Chicago and is now a youth coach with Marseille.
Proper 2am shout this but why did nobody tell me Djibril Cisse was on the French version of Masked Singer, and why am I now going to stay up till all hours trying to find clips of all his performances? pic.twitter.com/yqu4SYjzPa
— Daniel Austin (@_Dan_Austin) February 9, 2021
ST: Peter Crouch (Dietmar Hamann, ’71)
Crouch should have been included in every single England squad until he retired.
There’s absolutely no reason why a 6″7 striker with the most headed goals in Premier League history shouldn’t have been included, purely if just to throw on in the last few seconds of a knockout match.
Since his retirement from football in 2019, he’s become a pundit and is now a Director at his childhood club, Dulwich Hamlet.
His podcast, aptly named ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, is one of the most popular sport-related podcasts in the UK. He also named his second book ‘I, Robot’ as well. What a man.
Hamann has also gone into punditry and broadcasting, although he first tried his hand at management with a short period in charge of Stockport County in 2011.
He found it hard to give up sport as the German briefly returned to football in 2014-15 with German amateur side TuS Haltern and even played in a cricket match with the Alderly Edge Seconds in 2012, which we think makes him the first German ever to play the sport.
He also represents Liverpool, where he spent seven years, as a club ambassador.
By Patrick Ryan