Liverpool’s XI vs. Steaua Bucharest in 2010 shows how far the club have come

  • Rob Swan

Liverpool fans have not been this excited ahead of a new season for years – and understandably so.

Jurgen Klopp now has a squad that looks capable of seriously challenging for the Premier League title after spending big money in the transfer market this summer.

Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri have all arrived through the doors at Anfield in recent weeks, while the club’s key players – including Mohamed Salah – have all stayed.

Liverpool are currently the bookmakers’ second favourites to win the league this season, behind Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and they now boast a spine as strong as any other in the top flight.

They’ve also enjoyed a couple of eye-catching results in pre-season – beating both Man City (2-1) and Man Utd (4-1) – and must be counting down the days before the competitive action gets underway in just under two weeks’ time.

There’s every chance the Reds will end the 2018-19 season empty-handed, of course, but it’s safe to assume the Anfield faithful will enjoy watching their star-studded team week-in, week-out.

Which is more than can be said around eight years ago, when Liverpool were under the management of Roy Hodgson.

Remember this starting line-up, Liverpool fans?

Liverpool fans on social media have been reminiscing about the team that started against Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on December 2. It shows just how far they’ve come.

But what has happened to the players who featured in that 1-1 draw? Let’s take a closer look.

Pepe Reina

Now 35, Pepe Reina has spent time with Bayern Munich and Napoli since leaving Liverpool in 2014. He signed for Italian giants AC Milan this summer and is still remembered fondly by Reds’ supporters.

Fabio Aurelio

Fabio Aurelio left Anfield after six years in 2012, returning to Gremio before hanging up his boots a year later.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos

The Greek defender went on to play for Wolfsburg, Sunderland (loan) and finally Sydney Olympic before retiring in 2014.

Danny Wilson

The one-time Scotland international, who is only 26, now plays for Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer after spending three years with Rangers.

Martin Kelly

Martin Kelly still plies his trade under Hodgson, albeit for Crystal Palace.

Joe Cole

Liverpool never really saw the best of the former England international, who has been with Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United Soccer League since 2016.

Christian Poulsen

A player Liverpool fans failed to warm to, Christian Poulsen made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool before leaving the club in 2011. He went on to play for Evian, Ajax and Copenhagen.

Jonjo Shelvey

Liverpool fans had high hopes for Jonjo Shelvey, but it never quite happened for him at Anfield. He went on to star for Swansea City and is now one of Rafael Benitez’s key players at Newcastle United.

Dani Pacheco

The Spanish striker failed to make the grade at Liverpool and now plays for Getafe in La Liga.

Milan Jovanovic

The scorer of Liverpool’s only goal against Steaua Bucharest, Milan Jovanovic went on to spend two seasons with Anderlecht after leaving Anfield in 2011 before calling time on his career.

Ryan Babel

The Dutchman, now 31, has had a topsy-turvy career since leaving Liverpool in 2011. He’s since played for Hoffenheim, Ajax, Kasimpasa, Al Ain, Deportivo and now plies his trade at Besiktas.

Subs

David N’Gog

The very mention of David N’Gog is enough to bring Liverpool and out in a cold sweat. Now 29, the French striker plays for Pafos FC in the Cypriot First Division.

Lucas Leiva

An Anfield hero, Lucas brought an end to his 10-year association with Liverpool last year. He now plays for Lazio.

Nathan Eccleston

The 27-year-old last played for Hungarian side Békéscsaba – nope, us neither – and has been a free agent since 2016.

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