Chelsea v Liverpool: Where are the 2012 FA Cup final players now?

Chelsea v Liverpool: Where are the 2012 FA Cup final players now?


Liverpool face Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup final showdown and the Reds will be out for revenge. 

The Wembley clash is a rematch of the 2012 FA Cup final which saw the west London side emerge victorious in 2-1 win. 

Goals from Ramires and Didier Drogba either side of half-time handed the Blues the lead before Liverpool flop Andy Carroll clawed one back in the 64th minute after coming off the bench to replace Jay Spearing. 

While a number of big names from the 2012 sides are still in football’s conscious, others have ventured down slightly different paths. 

From tattoo artists to lip sync battle extraordinaires, Liverpool and Chelsea’s stars have discovered a variety of ways to keep themselves busy. 

Here Sportsmail takes a look at where the class of 2012 are now as the two sides prepare to face each other once again.  

Liverpool face Chelsea in Saturday's FA Cup final showdown in a rematch of their 2012 clash

Liverpool face Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup final showdown in a rematch of their 2012 clash

The west London side emerged victorious 10 years ago thanks to Didier Drogba and Ramires

The west London side emerged victorious 10 years ago thanks to Didier Drogba and Ramires

LIVERPOOL 

Pepe Reina 

The former Liverpool shot-stopper may have been unable to stop Chelsea back in 2012 but it certainly hasn’t held back his career. 

The Spaniard is still plying his trade at age 39 for Serie A side Lazio, making 17 appearances for the Italian side this season but hasn’t featured in the league since February. 

Reina left the Reds two seasons after the FA Cup defeat to join Bayern Munich but spent just one season with the Germans before stints at Napoli and AC Milan with a brief return to England on a loan deal to Aston Villa sandwiched in between. 

Former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina is still plying his trade at age 39 for Serie A side Lazio

Former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina is still plying his trade at age 39 for Serie A side Lazio

Glen Johnson 

Johnson hung up his boots at the end of the 2017-18 season after getting released by recently relegated Stoke City. 

Since retiring, the former full back has been able to devote more time to being CEO of the property company he set up with his brother during his playing days. 

He has also founded an investment company called Bed Of Honey, with has stakes in real estate, wine and fine art. 

He has also popped up on fans’ television screens doing media work for beIN Sports, talkSPORT and Sky Sports. 

Martin Skrtel

The Slovak had been a stalwart of the Liverpool backline for eight seasons at Anfield before eventually calling time on his career on Merseyside, leaving for Turkish side Fenerbahce in 2016. 

After becoming a free agent in January 2021, Skrtel signed for first tier Slovak side Spartak Trnava in August last year. 

The defender has made 19 appearances this season as the club finished second in the Fortuna Liga. 

Daniel Agger

Daniel Agger has led an eventful life since leaving Anfield. He retired in 2016 at just 31, after two seasons back at Brondby, and has managed to keep himself busy.

In 2013, Agger, set up a new sewage management business alongside his younger brother, Marco, called KloAgger, which reportedly made gross profits of £1.77 million in 2019.

It is no secret the Dane loves tattoos, having seemingly covered every inch of his body in them and shortly after retiring he took his passion one step further.

Agger invested in a tattoo company called tattoodo and even became a qualified tattoo artist himself.

After a period away from football, Agger got his first job back in the game in 2021 as he was appointed head coach of Danish 1st Division club HB Køge

Defender Daniel Agger set up a sewage management business called KloAgger in 2013

Defender Daniel Agger set up a sewage management business called KloAgger in 2013

The Dane also invested in a tattoo company and even became a qualified tattoo artist himself

The Dane also invested in a tattoo company and even became a qualified tattoo artist himself

Jose Enrique

The Spaniard struggled with a bad knee injury towards the end of his Anfield career which forced him to take painkillers and train intermittently before leaving Liverpool in 2016. 

Enrique joined Real Zaragoza as a free agent back in Spain in September 2016 but sadly suffered from a brain tumour and moved to Paris for his treatment.

After beating cancer, the former full back is juggling a career as a football agent with launching his business Amplified Coaching Online alongside fitness coach Steve Butler.

He still keeps close tabs on his former side, regularly taking to Twitter or TikTok to voice his opinions on the Reds. 

Jose Enrique overcame a brain tumour diagnosis following his Anfield exit in 2016

Jose Enrique overcame a brain tumour diagnosis following his Anfield exit in 2016

Jordan Henderson 

The only member of the 2012 side still at Anfield, you could say Henderson has done pretty well for himself. 

Henderson endured a difficult start to life at Liverpool following his £20million move from Sunderland, often facing criticism for his displays. 

But the midfielder broke out from under Steven Gerrard’s shadow when he took over the captaincy following the club legend’s departure in 2015. 

Since then, Henderson has led Liverpool to Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup titles, with his trophy-lift shuffle becoming iconic among the fanbase.  

Jordan Henderson (centre) is the only remaining member of the 2012 side still at the club

Jordan Henderson (centre) is the only remaining member of the 2012 side still at the club

Jay Spearing 

Spearing was a shock inclusion in the starting line up to face Chelsea after struggling to establish himself in the side throughout the season and lasted 54 minutes before being hauled off for goalscorer Andy Carroll.  

The midfielder came through the Liverpool academy under the guidance of Steve Heighway but left the club on a £1.44m move to Bolton just one season after the Reds’ FA Cup defeat. 

Now 33, Spearing is still local playing at League Two side Tranmere Rovers after joining the Wirral-based club in 2020.

Jay Spearing is still local playing at League Two side Tranmere Rovers after joining in 2020

Jay Spearing is still local playing at League Two side Tranmere Rovers after joining in 2020

Stewart Downing

Downing had stints at West Ham and Middlesbrough following his two seasons at Anfield before he joined in Blackburn Rovers in 2019.

He finished his career at Rovers, with him spending the last couple of years playing at Ewood Park.

He made over 50 league appearances for the club but decided to call it quits last August, with him announcing his retirement at the age of 37.

Steven Gerrard

Forever ingrained in Anfield folklore as a club legend, Gerrard is still knocking about the Premier League but in a slightly different setting. 

After hanging up his boots, the former Liverpool captain couldn’t bring himself to leave the dressing room as he turned his hand to management.

He started out coaching Liverpool Academy’s under-18 team, before taking his first senior managerial job at Rangers in 2018. 

The former midfielder led the Scottish side to their first league title in 2020-21 before making the leap to the Premier League, taking charge at Aston Villa last November.  

Former skipper Steven Gerrard traded the armband for the sidelines as manager of Aston Villa

Former skipper Steven Gerrard traded the armband for the sidelines as manager of Aston Villa

Craig Bellamy

The Welshman had two stints at Anfield, the first lasting just one season before he made the move to West Ham and returned at the start of the 2011-12 campaign for his second – just in time for Liverpool’s FA Cup charge. 

His second spell also lasted just one season as he moved to Cardiff at the end of the term before retiring in 2014. 

He has since Cardiff’s youth side and Anderlecht’s Under-21s before becoming an assistant manager at the Belgian side, but is currently not at a club. 

Luis Suarez

Perhaps the most prolific member of this 2012 side, Suarez left quite the impression during his three and a half years on Merseyside.

Branded a madman by some and hailed as a genius by others the Uruguayan was beloved by the Kop. 

But the forward’s time at Anfield ended when he sealed his dream move to Barcelona in 2014. 

After six years at Barcelona, Luis Suarez moved to Atletico Madrid where he is still playing

After six years at Barcelona, Luis Suarez moved to Atletico Madrid where he is still playing

His return to Anfield was not exactly enjoyable as his Barcelona side fell victim to Liverpool’s incredible comeback victory in the Champions League semi-final in 2019. 

After six years at the Nou Camp, the Catalan giants off loaded the 35-year-old to Atletico Madrid where he established himself as a key member of Diego Simeone’s side. 

Andy Carroll

Carroll scored just ten minutes after coming off the bench to claw one back for Liverpool and a Petr Cech wonder save stopped him from equalising moments later. 

How different his Anfield career might have been should he have hauled Liverpool level that day.

Liverpool broke the British transfer record by paying £35 million for the forward but he ultimately ended up scoring fewer league goals in the whole of his Reds career than he had in the first six months of his Premier League career at Newcastle.

He was shipped off to West Ham on a loan deal before the move was made permanent for less than half the fee Liverpool forked out with stints at Newcastle and Reading following. 

The 33-year-old joined Championship side West Brom in January but is set to become a free agent at the end of his season when his short-term contract with the Midlands outfit expires. 

A Petr Cech wonder save stopped Andy Carroll equalising for Liverpool back in 2012

A Petr Cech wonder save stopped Andy Carroll equalising for Liverpool back in 2012

Carroll is set to become a free agent at the end of the season after a spell at West Brom

Carroll is set to become a free agent at the end of the season after a spell at West Brom

Dirk Kuyt

A cult hero at Liverpool and a serial winner in the Netherlands and Turkey, Kuyt enjoyed a storied career on the pitch but now he is looking to replicate it in the ring. 

 The 41-year-old is set to become the latest ex-Premier League star to turn his hand to boxing, following in the footsteps of Patrice Evra and Jamie O’Hara.

The Dutchman will take part in his first fight in October, in an event which will be led by kickboxing heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven but he does not yet have an opponent. 

CHELSEA

Petr Cech

Cech pulled off a sensational save to preserve Chelsea’s lead with ten minutes remaining of the 2012 final. 

The goalkeeper’s heroics were not limited to the final with Cech becoming a club icon during his 11 years at Stamford Bridge.  

In 2015, he made the move across London to the Blues’ local rivals Arsenal before hanging up his boots in 2019. 

He is now showcasing his skills on the ice as a semi-professional ice hockey player, alongside juggling responsibilities as a player technical and performance advisor for Chelsea.  

Petr Cech is showcasing his skills on the ice as a semi-professional ice hockey player

Petr Cech is showcasing his skills on the ice as a semi-professional ice hockey player

Jose Bosingwa

Bosingwa spent just one season at Chelsea before making the move to Queens Park Rangers.

However, his career at Loftus Road didn’t last long as just five months into his deal Rangers were reportedly already looking to offload him. 

But the full back was said to be refusing to leave for less than the £8million outstanding on his deal, creating friction between the player and the club. 

QPR eventually managed to get rid of him in the summer, when he moved to Trabsponzor on a free transfer. 

The 39-year-old saw out his career in Turkey before retiring in 2016.  

Branislav Ivanovic

One of Ivanovic’s most memorable moments in a Chelsea shirt came in a match against Liverpool but it happened to come in the season after the two sides met in the FA Cup final. 

The defender was bitten by Reds forward Luis Suarez in an Anfield contest back in 2013. 

The Serb spent four and a half more seasons at Chelsea after the FA Cup final before leaving midseason in 2017 for Zenit St Petersburg.  

He was most recently at West Brom where he spent one season before being released as a free agent and is currently without a club. 

Branislav Ivanovic was bitten by Luis Suarez in a game between Liverpool and Chelsea in 2013

Branislav Ivanovic was bitten by Luis Suarez in a game between Liverpool and Chelsea in 2013 

John Terry

The Chelsea legend and former captain is one of the greatest defenders to have graced the Premier League, making 717 appearances for the Blues, scoring an impressive 67 goals. 

He said farewell to Chelsea fans in a memorable fashion as players stopped play in the 26th minute of his final game against Sunderland to perform a guard of honour for Terry. 

The defender left Stamford Bridge to play one season at Aston Villa before joining Dean Smith’s backroom staff for three years.

He recently made headlines for his vocal support of Roman Abramovich as he branded the Russian ‘the best owner’ after he put the club up for sale following sanctions from the UK government in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. 

Chelsea captain Terry leading the celebrations back in 2012 after defeating Liverpool

Chelsea captain Terry leading the celebrations back in 2012 after defeating Liverpool

Ashley Cole

Earlier this year, Cole joined Everton as part of former team-mate Frank Lampard’s backroom staff when he took charge at Goodison Park. 

He took up the position as first team coach for the Toffees, leaving behind his previous role as Academy Coach at Chelsea. 

Cole had also been named as Lee Carsley’s assistant with the England Under-21 squad last year.   

Ashley Cole joined Everton as part of former team-mate Frank Lampard's backroom staff

Ashley Cole joined Everton as part of former team-mate Frank Lampard’s backroom staff

John Obi Mikel

Mikel is currently without a club after his contract was terminated with Kuwait Sporting Club last November.

The 35-year-old was just four months into a one-year contract with the club, which he joined on a free transfer back in July 2021, before leaving. 

He left Stoke City by mutual consent to join the Kuwaiti side despite extending his deal with the Championship outfit just a month prior.

Frank Lampard

Similar to his former international team-mate and league rival Steven Gerrard, Lampard is also padding out his managerial CV in the top-flight. 

After retiring in 2017, the 43-year-old immediately turned to coaching, returning to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea’s youth side. 

He then took his first senior management role with Derby County before heading back to Chelsea as manager in 2019. 

Sadly, his managerial career with the Blues was not as successful as his playing days and he was sacked in January 2021.  

However, he is currently on Merseyside hoping to keep Everton in the Premier League after taking charge of the strugglers following the departure of Rafa Benitez. 

Frank Lampard is currently trying keep Everton in the Premier League as Toffees manager

Frank Lampard is currently trying keep Everton in the Premier League as Toffees manager

Ramires

Ramires put the Blues ahead after just 11 minutes when he dispatched two Liverpool defenders before slotting the ball past Pepe Reina.

Winning the Premier League and Champions League in addition to the FA Cup with Chelsea, Ramires left Stamford Bridge for China in 2016.

After three years with Chinese Super League side Jiangsu FC, he returned to his native Brazil to join Palmeiras. 

But Palmeiras confirmed in 2020 that the 33-year-old’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent and the player admitted in an Instagram post that ‘personal’ factors were behind his departure.

The midfielder is currently without a club but hasn’t officially announced his retirement. 

Juan Mata

The Spaniard won the FA Cup with Chelsea in his first season at the club after arriving from Valencia in August 2011. 

The midfielder made a £40million switch to Manchester United in the 2014 January transfer window.

Mata is still at Old Trafford having also won the FA Cup with United alongside the League Cup and Europa League. 

However, his time in the North West is set to come to an end as his contract with the Red Devils expires in June, leaving him a free agent at the end of the season.  

Juan Mata made a £40million switch to Manchester United in January 2014 and is still there

Juan Mata made a £40million switch to Manchester United in January 2014 and is still there

Salomon Kalou 

Kalou won numerous titles during his six years at Chelsea, including the Premier League, the Champions League, four FA Cups and the League Cup. 

He moved to Lille on a free transfer at the end of the 2012 season, where he spent two seasons before Hertha BSC.

In July 2020, the winger moved to Botafogo in the Brazilian Serie A on an 18-month contract but was released the following April and is currently without a club. 

Didier Drogba

Centre forward Drogba scored 104 goals in 254 Premier League appearances for Chelsea. The Ivorian also won three top-flight titles between 2004 and 2012 before returning to west London for a one-season stint in 2014 to win another. 

After a storied career in the Premier League, Drogba decided to showcase his talent across the pond as he became player-owner of USL club Phoenix Rising. 

The 44-year-old led Phoenix Rising to their first ever Western Conference finals in 2018 before retiring.

He is no longer playing for the American side but the club’s website still names him as one of the owners. 

Didier Drogba led Phoenix Rising to their first ever Western Conference finals in 2018

Didier Drogba led Phoenix Rising to their first ever Western Conference finals in 2018

Florent Malouda 

After his time as a Blue, Malouda made the move to India, signing for the Delhi Dynamos of the Indian Super League.

He was their marquee player, raking up a season-high eight assists in his debut season and helped the side reach the semi-finals in both seasons he played in. 

After retiring in 2018, he was signed to Swiss Super League side FC Zurich’s backroom staff in the January of the following year. 

But just two months later he found out via Twitter that his contract at the club had been terminated. 

He responded to a club statement, writing: ‘Really I didn’t know that?’  

Raul Meireles 

Liverpool were familiar foes for the midfielder, having only made the move to Chelsea from the Reds at the start of the season. 

Leaving Stamford Bridge for Fenerbahce after just once season with the Blues, he retired in 2016.

However, he resurfaced in headlines for rather unexpected reasons in 2019 when he appeared on the Portuguese version of Lip Sync Battle, miming along to Antonio Variacoes’ song ‘O corpo e que paga.’ 

Raul Meireles (centre) appeared on the Portuguese version of Lip Sync Battle in 2019

Raul Meireles (centre) appeared on the Portuguese version of Lip Sync Battle in 2019



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