Chelsea will go down as the last club to win the world’s oldest domestic cup competition beneath the famous twin towers of Wembley. Roberto di Matteo scored the winner a decade ago when Chelsea and Aston Villa participated in the FA Cup final. The final wasn’t one of the more memorable matches at the old Wembley, but the 1-0 victory for the Blues was very satisfying for them as they weren’t challenging for the Premier League title nor were they reaching the latter rounds of the Champions League.
Ten years on and Chelsea find themselves getting ready to contest in another FA Cup final after getting past Aston Villa of all teams. Let’s have a look at the players who represented the Stamford Bridge club that day and find out where they are today.
Ed de Goey – the Dutch goalkeeper was the most expensive in the Premier League at the time of his transfer and enjoyed a six-year spell at Chelsea. He kept his connections with English football and was most recently a goalkeeping coach at another west London club- Queens Park Rangers.
Mario Melchiot – the second Dutchman from Chelsea’s line-up ten years ago is currently captaining Wigan to what looks like Premiership survival after their most unexpected comeback against Arsenal last weekend.
Marcel Desailly – the defender’s list of honours is remarkable and his solid performances made him a favourite at Stamford Bridge. The now 41-year-old will be familiar amongst BBC football viewers as he appears for the broadcaster as a pundit occasionally. He regularly commentates for French channel Canal Plus, and is a member of the Ga ethic group.
Frank Leboeuf – the Frenchman formed a formidable partnership with Desailly in Chelsea’s defence and it was he who partnered his fellow national team-mate at Wembley in 2000. Leboeuf spent time in Los Angeles and therefore it unsurprising to hear that the part of the world he is in means that he has appeared in pre-production for a film called Ocean Hotel. Adding to that, he also stared alongside a French actor in a theatre play that is currently on-going in France until June.
Celestine Babayaro – just like de Goey, Babayaro was a Chelsea record at the time of his signing- he was the club’s most expensive teenager at a cost of £2.25m. He bizarrely left LA Galaxy after joining them in 2008 and playing only 45-minutes in a pre-season friendly and the reason for his sudden departure is unknown. He is said to be doing corporate work in his home country of Nigeria.
Gustavo Poyet – the talented Uruguayan contributed successfully as a goal-scoring midfielder during his time with the Blues, and since his retirement from the game in 2006 he has coached three English teams and avid followers of the English game will have seen that he is now Brighton and Hove Albion’s manager. Occasionally appears on Sky Sports’ coverage of the Champions League.
Dennis Wise – the legendary Chelsea captain was the lucky one to lead his team up the famous steps at Wembley against Villa. Wise created as much drama on the pitch as he did off it, and up until recently he ruined his image further when he made a mess of his Executive Director role at Newcastle. He is currently preparing himself to run in the London Marathon.
Didier Deschamps – the man dubbed as the ‘water carrier’ during his playing days won the FA Cup at the end of his only season at Chelsea. The legendary Frenchman is now head coach at Marseille.
Roberto di Matteo – the Italian will also be remembered for scoring the only goal in another 1-0 FA Cup final victory three years prior to 2000, after just 42 seconds. Di Matteo went on to manage MK Dons before joining West Brom with who he has just gained promotion back to the Premiership.
Gianfranco Zola – a fans favourite at Stamford Bridge where his seven-year career was full of different types of goals and wonderful skill to go along with it. In 2003 he was voted Chelsea’s best ever player. Since retiring, and now attempting to guide West Ham to Premiership safety, Zola has found management a tough game and there are rumours that he is close to getting the sack.
George Weah – Weah was on loan to Chelsea at the time of the final and his stay at the London club was not his best career move. He is now involved in Liberian politics.
Carlo Cudicini – the goalkeeper, now playing for Tottenham, has apparently started doing some ball work after fracturing both his wrists in the horrible motorcycle accident he had last November.
John Terry – he was an unused substitute in 2000, having gone on to win the FA Cup in 2007 and in 2009. He is now in his 12th year at Chelsea.
Tore Andre Flo – the 36-year-old, who got a taste of the action at Wembley, was released from his contract with the MK Dons approximately a year ago.
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