What happened to the Liverpool XI that lost the 2005 Club World Cup final

  • Kobe Tong

Liverpool are vying to crown themselves the best club team in world football.

After becoming kings of Europe with a sensational Champions League victory, the Reds are now just 90 minutes away from conquering the globe and Flamengo are all that stands in their way.

We are, of course, talking about the FIFA Club World Cup here and this isn’t the first time Liverpool have competed for the prestigious, albeit slightly unnecessary, trophy.

Liverpool won the Champions League in historic fashion in 2005, but couldn’t add the global crown to their collection, suffering a shock 1-0 defeat against Sao Paolo.

And seeing as Liverpool are about to face Brazilian opposition in the exact same event 14 years later, it only makes sense to look back on what went wrong the last time.

2005 Club World Cup final

So, in memory of that final, we’ve decided to run through the Liverpool squad that day and establish where their careers on and off the pitch have taken them ever since.

GK: Pepe Reina

Where are they now? AC Milan

There was nothing Reina could have done about Mineiro’s winning strike in Yokohama and he went on to spend another nine years at Anfield as arguably their best goalkeeper of the century.

After both permanent and loan spells at Napoli, via Bayern Munich for a season, Reina now finds himself as Gianlugi Donnarumma’s deputy at the San Siro.

RB: Steve Finnan

Where are they now? Property business

Finnan made over 200 appearances in the famous red jersey, eventually leaving for Espanyol in 2008 and finally hanging up his boots after a single season at Portsmouth.

The Irishman has since stayed away from social media and was last heard running a property business with his brother, Sean, after a #FindSteveFinnan campaign spread across Twitter.

CB: Sami Hyypia

Where are they now? Managerial limbo

After leaving Liverpool as a club legend in 2009, Hyypia saw out the twilight years of his career at Bayer Leverkusen and then turned his attention to the world of coaching.

But management wasn’t too kind to Hyypia and it looks unlikely that he’ll be stepping in the dugout again any time soon after Bayer, Brighton and FC Zurich all handed him a P45.

CB: Jamie Carragher

Where are they now? Sky Sports

And speaking of Liverpool legends… there was another one lining up against Sao Paolo that day and Carragher lasted even longer at Anfield, eventually bowing out after the 2012/13 season.

Since then, Carragher has been delivering his expert punditry on Sky Sports and – barring the controversial spitting incident of 2018 – is enjoying a stellar TV career alongside Gary Neville. 

LB: Stephen Warnock

Where are they now? BBC Sport

It wasn’t until 2018 that Warnock retired after – brace yourself – spells with Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Leeds United, Derby County, Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion and Bradford City.

Now, Warnock has joined many of his former teammates in pursuing a career in the media and was most recently seen raving about Sadio Mane on BBC Radio 5 Live.

CDM: Mohamed Sissoko

Where are they now? Free agent

A player who often flies under the radar whenever Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool is examined, Sissoko enjoyed a solid career and left Anfield for moves to Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Since then, he’s experienced a journeyman’s career – playing everywhere from Mexico, China, India and Hong Kong – and most recently turned out for Sochaux in the French second division.

RM: Steven Gerrard

Where are they now? Rangers

Gerrard couldn’t recreate that Istanbul magic in Yokohama, but would end his Liverpool career with over 700 appearances and waved goodbye to football in 2016 after time with LA Galaxy.

Now, the legendary midfielder is trying to forge a career in coaching. It’s been a case of so far, so good at Rangers and he could make the difference in trying to end Celtic’s domestic dominance.

CM: Xabi Alonso

Where are they now? Real Sociedad B

The Spaniard couldn’t work his magic against Sao Paolo in 2005, but still produced enough superhuman displays to earn himself Real Madrid and Bayern Munich moves before retirement.

Alonso always looked like a player who would move into management and after a season with the Real Madrid under-14 side, he’s now the main man for the first time in the Segunda Division.

LM: Harry Kewell

Where are they now? Managerial limbo

Another player who seems to be neglected in the Liverpool history books, Kewell waved goodbye to Liverpool for Galatasaray in 2008 before moves to Qatar and his native Australia.

However, a post-retirement foray into management hasn’t worked out for Kewell who was sacked after just three wins in 14 games at Notts County and hasn’t appeared in a dugout ever since.

CF: Luis Garcia

Where are they now? Media work

Garcia was one of the most active players on that doomed night in Japan, striking the bar in what would prove his penultimate season with Liverpool, and eventually hung up his boots in 2016.

Since then, Garcia has worked for the likes of La Liga TV and Premier League TV, regularly plays for the LFC Legends’ team and loves to reference his infamous ‘ghost goal’ on social media.

ST: Fernando Morientes

Where are they now? Managerial limbo

Things never really worked out for the ex-Real Madrid man in England, scoring just 12 goals, and he spent the final four seasons of his career with Valencia and Marseille

Morientes briefly emerged from retirement for Santa Ana in 2015, was sacked from his role of head coach at Fuenlabrada and occasionally makes appearances at Champions League events.

Sub: John Arne Riise

Where are they now? Former sports director

Riise will always be loved at Liverpool and often appears for their legends’ squad after winding down his playing career with Fulham as well as spells in Norway, Cyprus and India.

The former left-back has made sporadic media appearances ever since, but most recently resigned from his position as a sports director at Maltese club Birkirkara after three months.

Sub: Florent Sinama Pongolle

Where are they now? Free agent

Arguably the most random player to feature for Liverpool that day, Pongolle was never really a hit on Merseyside and scored just nine times in 65 appearances.

He was last seen playing for Thai club Chainat Hornbill in 2018, but also turned out for the likes of Saint-Etienne, Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon during his post-Liverpool days.

Sub: Peter Crouch

Where are they now? BT Sport

Crouch, who would spend two more seasons at the club, had finally found his feet at Anfield by December 2005 and wouldn’t retire until 14 years later after time with Stoke City and Burnley.

The former England striker now runs a podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and has transferred his hilarious presence on Twitter to the BT Sport studio for Premier League punditry.

GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says

Talk about a varied bunch of players.

While you had bona fide world-beaters like Gerrard and Alonso taking to the pitch during that fateful defeat, there was also Pongolle and Morientes to bring the quality level down a rung.

However, if Liverpool can take any positives from the events of 2005 it’s that – barring the heart of the midfields – their current team is far improved from the side that came 14 years before.

I can’t imagine a world where Sao Paolo were lifting that trophy if Alisson Becker was between the sticks, Virgil van Dijk was in the heart of defence and THAT front three was causing havoc.

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