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What key players from Liverpool’s epic 2006 FA Cup final victory against West Ham are doing now 

The FA Cup may have lost some of its magic in recent years but in 2006 the competition enjoyed arguably its greatest ever final.

It’s been 14 years to the day since the dramatic final between Liverpool and West Ham – a game that had everything. It was a match you couldn’t take your eyes off with the teams needing penalties to separate them after a 3-3 draw. 

Managed by Alan Pardew, the Hammers were the firm underdogs with Rafa Benitez’s side having won the Champions League a year earlier. 

Steven Gerrard scored twice, including a last-minute equaliser, in the 2006 FA Cup final

Liverpool went on to win the match on penalties with Gerrard named as man of the match

Liverpool went on to win the match on penalties with Gerrard named as man of the match

West Ham had twice taken the lead and Dean Ashton put them 2-0 ahead in the first half

West Ham had twice taken the lead and Dean Ashton put them 2-0 ahead in the first half

But an own goal from Jamie Carragher and a Dean Ashton strike gave the London side a perfect start. Djibril Cisse quickly pulled one back and Steven Gerrard levelled just after half-time. Just as Liverpool looked to be in the driving seat, Paul Konchesky again put West Ham ahead. But back came Gerrard again.

With just seconds remaining the Reds skipper hit the sweetest of long-range volleys past Shaka Hislop to take the game to extra-time and penalties followed. Only substitute Teddy Sherringham could find the net for the Hammers as Gerrard, John Arne Riise and Dietmar Hamann all scored to hand Liverpool the trophy. 

It is remembered by many as the ‘Gerrard final’, and the man himself is now retired as a player and in charge of Rangers. But what about the other players from that memorable day? Sportsmail takes a look at some of the key figures.

DJIBRIL CISSE – DJ AND FASHION MODEL 

The 2006 final was Cisse’s last game for Liverpool with the striker joining Marseille at the end of the year after recovering from a broken leg.

The Frenchman came back to England for a brief loan spell with Sunderland in the 2008-09 season but his career has taken a turn since his retirement from the game.

Cisse brought out his own clothing range ‘Mr Lenoir’ and has even modelled on catwalks.

He also participated in the French version of Dancing with the Stars and most recently has taken up a career as a DJ after leaving football in 2017.

But the 38-year-old has now revealed a desire to come out of retirement to play for a Ligue 1 club and reach the 100-goal mark. He is four goals away from the target and has even offered to play for free. 

Djibril Cisse has since forged a career as a DJ

He also has his own clothing line called Mr Lenoir

Djibril Cisse has since forged a career as a DJ and also owns his own clothing line, Mr Lenoir

Cisse retired from football in 2017 to focus on his DJ career but says he wants to play again

Cisse retired from football in 2017 to focus on his DJ career but says he wants to play again

STEVE FINNAN – PROPERTY DEVELOPER  

The Republic of Ireland international worked his way up the football pyramid before hitting the heights with Liverpool.

In fact, he is the only player to have played in the World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup, all four tiers of the English Football League and the National League (formerly known as the Conference). 

Finnan left Liverpool in 2008, spending a year with Espanyol before retiring at Portsmouth in 2010.

He’s kept a relatively low profile since leaving the game and now spends his time running a property development company alongside his brother.

Steve Finnan (right) finished his career at Portsmouth and now works in property development

Steve Finnan (right) finished his career at Portsmouth and now works in property development 

SAMI HYYPIA – MANAGER

With 10 trophies in 10 years, Sami Hyypia left Liverpool as a club legend.

He finished a hugely successful playing career at Bayer Leverkusen and immediately went into coaching. Unfortunately, this has not worked out quite as well.

Hyypia became Leverkusen manager in 2012 and was perhaps harshly sacked at the end of the season with the club having finished fourth in the Bundesliga.

He joined Brighton in 2014 but results were poor and with the club in the relegation zone after a run of one win in 18 games, he offered his resignation.

He then took over at FC Zurich but was sacked a year later following a vote of no confidence by his players. He left the club bottom of the table with three games remaining as the club were relegated to the Swiss second division.

Sami Hyypia has not enjoyed the same success as a manager as he did when he was a player

Sami Hyypia has not enjoyed the same success as a manager as he did when he was a player

HARRY KEWELL – MANAGER

There’s a bit of a theme here as Harry Kewell’s career in management hasn’t gone much better than Hyypia’s.

Kewell became the first Australian to manage a professional team in England when he got the job at Crawley in 2017.

He had a mixed record at the Broadfield Stadium with 18 wins, 12 draws and 27 defeats in 57 games. 

But it was enough to earn him the manager’s job at Notts County in 2018. However, he was sacked after just 10 weeks in charge after just three wins in 14 games.

The club was relegated to the National League for the first time in its history later that season.  

Harry Kewell went on to manage Crawley and Notts County but was later sacked by the latter

Harry Kewell went on to manage Crawley and Notts County but was later sacked by the latter

JOHN ARNE RIISE – SKIER

Scorer of a crucial penalty in the shoot-out, Riise is fondly remembered by Liverpool fans for his achievements with the club.

He spent seven years at Anfield before joining Roma in 2008 but returned to England for a three-year stint with Fulham from 2011-14.

Since retiring from football the left back has become a keen skier. He debuted at the Birken Ski Festival in his homeland of Norway in 2018 and regularly shares photos of himself on the slopes with his family. 

He also spent a very brief period as sports director of Maltese club Birkirkara but resigned after less than three months. 

The Norwegian brought out his autobiography in 2018 and recalls a story of confronting his childhood bully in McDonalds after winning the Champions League in 2005. 

John Arne Riise scored a penalty in the shoot-out and now spends time skiing in Norway

John Arne Riise scored a penalty in the shoot-out and now spends time skiing in Norway

The left back brought out his autobiography in 2018 after retiring from football a year earlier

The left back brought out his autobiography in 2018 after retiring from football a year earlier

DEAN ASHTON – PUNDIT

Ashton put West Ham in dreamland when he scored their second goal of the game and that was probably the high point of his career. 

He missed the whole of the next season after breaking his ankle on England duty and the rest of his time as a professional saw him in and out of the game.

His last competitive appearance would come in 2008 and he was forced to retire in 2009.

Ashton has managed to forge a career in the media and is a regular pundit on Quest’s EFL highlights show and has also worked for Sky Sports and talkSPORT. 

Dean Ashton has forged a career in the media after injuries forced him to retire from playing

Dean Ashton has forged a career in the media after injuries forced him to retire from playing

MARLON HAREWOOD – BESPOKE CAR DESIGNER  

Harewood left West Ham in 2007 and never really hit the same heights as he did with the London club where he managed over 140 league goals.

The striker had spells with Aston Villa, Wolves, Newcastle and Blackpool to name but a few clubs before retiring with non-league Nuneaton in 2016.

He now heads up company AC13 Premier which provides bespoke cars to the sporting elite.

The former striker has arranged motors for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Andy Robertson.

He claims he first had the idea to set up the company after he was ripped off when buying a sports car during his time at the Hammers.

Marlon Harewood heads up AC13 Premier, which provides bespoke cars to the sporting elite

Marlon Harewood heads up AC13 Premier, which provides bespoke cars to the sporting elite

The former striker has provided cars for Andy Robertson, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane

The former striker has provided cars for Andy Robertson, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane

PAUL KONCHESKY – PIE-AND-MASH SHOP OWNER 

Pie and mash – not exactly a footballer’s diet. That’s probably why Paul Konchesky waited until he was nearer the end of his career to open his ‘Konch’s Kafe’ in 2015.

The left back experienced the highs and lows of football in the 2006 final – scoring what came so close to being the winning goal but also missing a penalty in the shoot-out.

But the defender went on to have a long and successful career and even signed for Liverpool in 2010 – although that didn’t quite go to plan. However, he did pick up a Premier League winners’ medal while playing for Leicester in 2016.

Konchesky opened his own pie and mash shop in his home of Brentwood and after retiring from football in 2018, is now free to enjoy all the food the cafe provides.

His mum works in the shop and Jamie Redknapp has even been known to pop in.

Paul Konchesky opened a pie-and-mash shop in 2015 after retiring from professional football

Paul Konchesky opened a pie-and-mash shop in 2015 after retiring from professional football

NIGEL REO-COKER – FREE AGENT

West Ham’s captain on the day, Nigel Reo-Coker came agonisingly close to lifting the trophy.

The midfielder left the London side in 2007 and enjoyed a four-year spell at Aston Villa and then spent time at Bolton and Ipswich.

But Reo-Coker has had periods where he was without a club, including in 2016 where he went on trial at Tony Adams’ Granada with former team-mate Kieran Richardson.

However, the former England U21 player instead joined Norwegian side IK Start. After a year he was without a club again but briefly signed for League Two side MK Dons.

At the age of 35, Reo-Coker is yet to retire and is a free agent once more but also works as a club ambassador for the Hammers. He has also done some punditry work with Sky Sports.

Nigel Reo-Coker (centre) remains a free agent but has done some punditry work in TV

Nigel Reo-Coker (centre) remains a free agent but has done some punditry work in TV

LIONEL SCALONI – ARGENTINA MANAGER

The 2006 final was Lionel Scaloni’s last game for West Ham as he had only joined the club on a six-month loan deal from Deportivo La Coruna.

He would have joined the club permanently but an agreement could not be reached and he instead signed for Racing Santander. 

Scaloni earned seven caps for Argentina and became the country’s assistant coach in 2017 before taking over as manager from Jorge Sampaoli after the country’s erratic performances at the 2018 World Cup.

He led Argentina to a third-place finish in the 2019 Copa America. Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has backed his compatriot to be a success and lead the country to glory at the 2022 World Cup.

Lionel Scaloni was on loan with West Ham and is now manager of the Argentina national team

Lionel Scaloni was on loan with West Ham and is now manager of the Argentina national team

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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