What happened to the Arsenal XI that played against Atletico Madrid back in 2009

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Arsene Wenger will be desperate for his final match in charge of Arsenal to be the Europa League final in Lyon.

To get there, though, the Gunners face the tough task of Atletico Madrid.

With Salzburg and Marseille in the other semi-final, both Arsenal and Atleti will fancy their chances of glory if they can reach the final.

Both clubs will be disappointed that this is a Europa League semi-final, rather than a Champions League semi-final though.

This is the first time for 17 years that Arsenal have played in this competition, while Atleti have reached this stage of Europe’s elite competition in three of the last four seasons - and only entered the Europa League after coming third in the group stages of the Champions League.

Despite both sides featuring in the Champions League regularly in previous years, they haven’t met since 2009.

And even that was in the Emirates Cup - a pre-season tournament at Arsenal’s stadium.


The north London club triumphed 2-1 on the day, with a late brace from Andrei Arshavin.

And they were facing an Atletico side that had the likes of Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Jose Antonio Reyes all starting for them. While a young David de Gea was on the bench.

But who was in that Arsenal starting XI that day? And where are they now?

Let’s take a look:

Goalkeeper | Vito Mannone

After leaving Arsenal in 2013, Mannone played for Sunderland in the Premier League. After their relegation last summer, he moved to Championship side Reading.

Right-back | Bacary Sagna

Sagna spent three seasons at Manchester City after leaving Arsenal. He moved to Serie A side Benevento in the summer but has only played four matches for the already relegated side.

Left-back | Armand Traore

Traore left Arsenal permanently in 2012 and enjoyed five campaigns at QPR. He moved to Nottingham Forest and has spent this season on loan to promotion-chasing Cardiff - although he’s only played four games.

Arsenal's French defence Armand Traore (

Centre-back | William Gallas

Gallas made the controversial move to Spurs from Arsenal ahead of the 2010/11 season, where he spent three years. He last played for Perth Glory during the 2013/14 season but then retired.

Centre-back | Johan Djourou

The Swiss actually spent nine seasons at Arsenal, although he had several loans during that spell. He transferred to Hamburg in 2014 but now finds himself at Antalyaspor in Turkey.

Centre-midfield | Denilson

Denilson left Arsenal in 2011 before spending five years back in his native country with Sao Paulo. In 2015, he moved to Al Wahda in UAE but is currently back in Brazil on loan at Cruzeiro.

John Heitinga of Athletico Madrid (R) is

Centre-midfield | Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey has played more than 320 times for Arsenal and the 27-year-old has impressed at times this season. The only player that started the match in 2009 that is still at the club.

Centre-midfield | Tomas Rosicky

Injuries plagued Rosicky’s final years at Arsenal but the Czech played almost 250 times during his 10 seasons at the club. He finished his playing career with a spell at his first club - Sparta Prague - before recently retiring.

Left-wing | Nicklas Bendtner

‘Lord’ Bendtner played left-wing against Atletico Madrid in 2009. The Dane managed 45 goals in 171 appearances at Arsenal before a move to Wolfsburg in Germany.

A return to England with Nottingham Forest followed before moving to Rosenborg in 2017. He’s set to ‘star’ in the World Cup with his Danish side.

Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal controls the

Right-wing | Emmanuel Eboue

Eboue spent six seasons at Arsenal before a switch to Galatasaray in 2011. Following his release in 2015, he was briefly on the books at Sunderland. However, he was given a one-year ban by FIFA for not paying his agent and hasn’t played since.

Striker | Robin van Persie

Arsenal fans know only too well what happened to Van Persie. He moved to Manchester United on a free transfer ahead of the 2012/13 season and helped win them the title.

After three years at Old Trafford, he spent two seasons at Fenerbahce before an emotional return to boyhood club Feyenoord this summer.

He’s scored seven goals in 12 appearances for them this season.

Premier League
Arsene Wenger

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