19th May 2012.
A day all Chelsea fans will remember, or if you were like me, didn’t remember…
After the 2008 Final heartbreak, I remember going into the game nervous, with a horrid feeling. The match itself was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve been during a game of football. The constant Bayern onslaught seemed never ending.
But we all know what happened next. Didier Drogba. And the rest was history.
But where are the players that made up that Champions League winning team? Let’s take a look!
GK – Petr Cech
Petr Cech played a pivotal role in the 2012 final, but he played a crucial role during all 11 years he spent at Stamford Bridge.
He left Chelsea in 2015, to join rivals Arsenal. However thanks to Cech being such a massive part of Chelsea history, no bad blood was felt at all.
He played 139 games for Arsenal before retiring in 2019.
Currently, Cech is back at Chelsea working as a technical and performance advisor, and can be seen most match days at The Bridge.
RB – Jose Bosingwa
Let’s be honest. Jose Bosingwa was a really poor footballer.
I had many afternoons at Stamford Bridge debating getting my boots back out after watching Bosingwa for 90 minutes.
However, after his performance in Munich, he’ll always be a Chelsea legend.
After leaving Chelsea, Bosingwa made the short hop to Queens Park Rangers for a year, then spent 3 years in Turkey with Trabzonspor before retiring in 2016.
CB – David Luiz
David Luiz was a strange player. On his day, he’d be the best player on the pitch. However, those days were pretty damn rare.
After leaving Chelsea (for the second time), like Petr Cech, he moved to North London and joined Arsenal. At the time, Arsenal were convinced they had signed our best defender, but after a few months they saw how much of a bomb scare Luiz really was.
The Brazilian left London last summer, and is currently back in his native Brazil playing for Flamengo.
CB – Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill was basically John Terry 2.0 for Chelsea, albeit not spending as long at Stamford Bridge as JT.
Gary Cahill joined Chelsea in the January of 2012, so his first taste of European football was thrust upon him, culminating in Cahill playing the biggest game of club football in his first year.
While at Stamford Bridge, Cahill won 2x Premier Leagues, 2x Europa Leagues, 2x FA Cup’s, a league cup and of course the Champions League, making him firmly a Chelsea legend.
Since leaving Chelsea in 2019, Cahill spent 2 years with Crystal Palace, and is currently trying to help Bournemouth regain Premier League status.
LB – Ashley Cole
Another Chelsea legend. Ashley Cole was magnificent for Chelsea during his time with the club, and no one deserved a European Cup more than him.
After 8 years at Stamford Bridge, Cole moved to Roma and LA Galaxy, before ending his career with Frank Lampard at Derby.
Currently, Ashley is back at Chelsea working as a coach with the youth setup, and also with England working with the u21’s.
CM – John Obi Mikel
Now, John Obi Mikel often gets forgotten when you mention Chelsea heroes, but the Nigerian gave most of his best years to helping Chelsea become as successful as they were.
After 11 years in London, Obi Mikel has toured the world.
In the last 5 years, he’s found himself playing football in China, Turkey, Kuwait and Stoke.
He’s currently at Kuwait SC, however hasn’t played a game as of yet.
CM – Frank Lampard (C)
Frank Lampard. That is all.
What an absolute legend this man is. During his 13 years with Chelsea, Lampard won every trophy there was to win.
Captain in Munich, he played a pivotal role in securing our first European Cup while regular skipper John Terry was suspended.
After leaving Chelsea in 2015, Lampard had brief spells at both Manchester City and New York City, before turning to management.
After a season at Derby County, Lampard returned to Chelsea as head coach, and played his part in getting the club back into the Champions League, before departing the club.
CM – Juan Mata
Juan Mata was easily one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen at Stamford Bridge.
His role in our Champions League win shouldn’t be underestimated either. It was Mata’s corner that got nodded in by Didier Drogba to make it 1-1. Mata however, was the only Chelsea player to miss in the penalty shootout.
The Spaniard is still currently at Manchester United, however his time at Old Trafford has been slightly hot and cold.
RW – Salomon Kalou
Salomon Kalou was another player who could be a world beater, or bang average.
The Ivorian did score a number of crucial goals for Chelsea though, and who can forget his spider hair cut for the 2012 final?
After leaving Chelsea after the final, Kalou went to Lille, Hertha Berlin and latterly Botafogo.
He is currently without a club, and I would assume retirement is looming.
ST – Didier Drogba
The man of the moment.
Didier Drogba provided Chelsea with the magic spark they so dearly needed that night in Munich.
Not only did Drogba score the levelling goal, he also slotted away the winning penalty making Chelsea the European Champions.
After leaving Chelsea after his heroics, Drogba went to Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, before returning back home to Stamford Bridge for a season.
After winning another Premier League in 2015, Drogba went to Canada and America before eventually retiring in 2018, aged 40.
LW – Ryan Bertrand
Probably the strangest selection of the Champions League Final, Bertrand made his European debut that night in Munich.
During his 10 year spell at Stamford Bridge, Bertrand only made just over 50 appearances, yet leaving with FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League medals.
The Englishman is currently playing for Leicester, after leaving Southampton where he was captain for a brief period.
Manager – Roberto Di Matteo
The final piece of the Chelsea puzzle, came in the form of a rather unlikely manager.
Roberto Di Matteo was a Chelsea legend as a player, but no one really thought much of it when he took over after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.
The Italian however, led Chelsea to the only title that eluded them, and will forever go down in Chelsea folk law.
After the 2012/3 season not going as planned, Di Matteo was sacked. Since leaving Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo has had unsuccessful spells at Schalke and West Brom, and has been out of a job since 2016.
Ross Turnbull – Probably the strangest player to have a Champions League medal. Turnbull made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before leaving to join Doncaster Rovers. He then played for Barnsley & Leeds before being released in 2017. Turnbull has since tried his hand at coaching, and currently holds a scouting role at Chelsea.
Paulo Ferreira – Another unsung hero at Chelsea, Ferreira retired at Stamford Bridge after winning both European trophies in 2012 & 2013. Currently Ferreira still works for Chelsea, as both an ambassador and a coach for loanee’s.
Michael Essien – Michael Essien was a machine in his prime for Chelsea. After leaving London, The Ess played for a number of teams around the world, including Italian giants AC Milan. Essien, like many of this Chelsea side, currently is working as a coach for FC Nordsjælland.
Oriol Romeu – Oriol Romeu in truth was never really good enough to play for Chelsea, but due to injuries he made it onto the bench for the final. He left Chelsea to join fellow Prem side Southampton, where he’s been a regular in the side since 2015.
Florent Malouda – Florent Malouda played 47 minutes of the Champions League final, making an impact when he came on. After playing pivotal roles in most of Chelsea’s successes during his 6 years in London, Malouda was pretty much frozen out at the end of his spell at Stamford Bridge. After spells around Europe and Asia, he retired in 2018.
Fernando Torres – Despite having a notoriously tough time after his £50m move to Chelsea, Torres is considered a fan favourite even now. After his goal in Barcelona and in the 2013 Europa League final, I’d say he repaid his mega transfer fee. After leaving Chelsea, he had an unsuccessful spell at AC Milan, and returned home to Atletico Madrid before retiring at Japanese side Sagan Tosu. Torres is currently working as a coach with Atletico’s youth sides.
Daniel Sturridge – The final substitute was Daniel Sturridge. Things never really worked out at Chelsea for the Englishman, eventually swapping London for Liverpool in 2013. After a successful spell at Anfield, the new arrivals of Salah / Mane / Firmino saw him left out of the side. He joined Trabzonspor before being banned for breaching betting rules. He has recently signed for Perth Glory.
So there we have it! Every member of that 2012 side!
Hopefully we have many years of European glory ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the heroes of 2021 will end up during the later years of their careers!