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Where are Chelsea's 2012 Champions League heroes now?

:Headline: Where are Chelsea's 2012 Champions League heroes now?:
Sports Mole takes a look at where Chelsea's Champions League heroes of 2012 have ended up 10 years later.
Sports Mole

Ten years ago to this day, a new chapter in English football history was written. Four years after the heartbreak of Moscow to Manchester United, Chelsea silenced the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich would be blessed with a Champions League final on their own turf in 2011-12 and were seemingly on course for the crown when Thomas Muller headed home in the 83rd minute.

However, Didier Drogba struck five minutes later to force extra time, in which Arjen Robben fluffed his lines from 12 yards and Roberto Di Matteo's side kept their cool from the spot in the shootout to become the first club from London to lift the Champions League trophy.

The luminaries in blue of that fateful night in Munich have all taken different trajectories in their careers since that night, and here, Sports Mole takes a look at where Chelsea's starting XI from the 2012 final have ended up 10 years later.


Petr Cech

Petr Cech's long and trophy-laden career at Chelsea would not have been complete without a Champions League winners' medal around his neck, and the Czech goalkeeper spent three more years on the books at the club before making the switch to Arsenal.

Cech would add one more FA Cup to his CV before calling it quits in 2019, taking up a role at Chelsea as the club's technical and performance advisor, while juggling those duties with goal-tending for the Guildford Phoenix ice hockey team.

The 39-year-old memorably pleaded with the plethora of angry supporters outside Stamford Bridge following the European Super League fallout and was also included as an emergency goalkeeping option amid the coronavirus pandemic - eventually playing one game in the Premier League 2 against Tottenham Hotspur, which ended in a 3-2 win for the Blues.


Jose Bosingwa

Jose Bosingwa may have never achieved cult status at Stamford Bridge, but the Portuguese right-back saw out the game as Chelsea won the Champions League before his exit only a few weeks later.

A brief spell at Queens Park Rangers would follow for Bosingwa before Turkey came calling in the form of Trabzonspor, but a dispute over unpaid wages led to his untimely first exit in 2015.

The 39-year-old would re-sign for the Super Lig side only two months later before hanging up his boots at the end of the 2015-16 season, making 82 appearances for the club in total.


David Luiz

Forever unpredictable but a wonderful footballer on his day, David Luiz stepped up to convert one of Chelsea's penalties in the shootout and would spend two more years at the club before his first exit for Paris Saint-Germain.

The pull of Stamford Bridge would prove too strong for the Brazilian to ignore in 2016, and he ended up swapping blue for red three years later to add some much-needed experience to the Arsenal backline - albeit with a few too many early baths.

Nowadays, Luiz is plying his trade back home with Flamengo and can be found regularly starting games for the Brazilian side in Serie A or in the Copa Libertadores, but he is still awaiting his first goal for the club.


Gary Cahill

See above. The jubilant scenes and tribute to Gary Cahill exemplified the Englishman's wonderful seven-and-a-half year stint at Stamford Bridge, and he was starting in a Champions League final just four months after arriving from Bolton Wanderers.

Cahill would receive a fond farewell from the club before signing for Crystal Palace in 2019, during which he found himself in the first XI more often than not, and the South Coast would come calling last year.

The 36-year-old started 21 Championship games for Bournemouth during their successful push for promotion, although his last appearance in the second division came all the way back in January, and talks over his future are in the pipeline ahead of his Cherries deal expiring in the summer.


Ashley Cole

Never afraid to step up to the spot and rifle home, Ashley Cole slotted home Chelsea's third successful spot kick in the Champions League final and was able to share a joke with reporters after the Germans lost on penalties.

Cole would only spend another two years at Chelsea before moving on to pastures new with Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County, eventually hanging up his boots in the summer of 2019 to work on his coaching badges.

The 41-year-old has overseen development at Chelsea's academy and the England Under-21s, but the appointment of Frank Lampard at Everton led the former left-back to join his ex-Chelsea counterpart in the Goodison Park dugout.

Away from the pitch, Cole and his family were caught up in a frightening burglary ordeal in which a robber allegedly threatened to 'cut off his fingers' during a 2020 home invasion.


John Obi Mikel

It is sometimes easy to forget that 2012 hero John Obi Mikel was on the books at Chelsea all the way until the 2016-17, but he did not make a single appearance for the club that term before leaving for Chinese outfit TJ Teda.

The Nigeria international would form a part of his country's 2018 World Cup squad, and he has returned to England on two occasions to bolster the Middlesbrough and Stoke City midfield ranks.

Mikel then spent a four-month stint with Kuwait SC but only played five games for the club before his contract was terminated in November 2021, and at the age of 35, the free agent still has some life left in his game.


Frank Lampard

The skipper. The midfield maestro. Frank Lampard had seen it all before in 2008 and would relish in coming out on the winning side four years later, and he eventually ended his stint at the club after a legendary 13 years in 2014.

Chelsea fans could not believe their eyes when Lampard - then on the books at Manchester City - scored against them in September 2014, and a mixed bag of fortunes has befallen the Englishman as a manager since his 2017 retirement from the game.

Roman Abramovich did not hesitate to let Lampard go in 2021 amid a poor spell of results, but the 43-year-old has Everton in with a fighting chance of securing Premier League survival, which they can achieve with victory over Crystal Palace later on tonight.


Salomon Kalou

Salomon Kalou's six-year spell at Chelsea could hardly have ended in a more perfect way, as the Ivorian played 84 minutes in the final and collected a Champions League winners' medal before leaving the club at the end of his contract six years later.

Numerous clubs were linked with Kalou before he ultimately settled on Lille - scoring 30 goals in two seasons in Ligue 1 - and the glut of goals would not stop during his six-year spell at Hertha Berlin.

Kalou made 173 appearances for the German club, scoring 53 goals and leaving for Brazilian outfit Botafogo in 2020, but he would only net once in 27 games for the Rio-based side before leaving by mutual consent in April 2021.

The 36-year-old is yet to officially hang up his boots, but while he remains a free agent, he can now be found spearheading the Kalou Foundation, which aims to improve healthcare for the less privileged and sporting facilities for the youth in his native Ivory Coast.


Juan Mata

Juan Mata's heart was in his mouth for the rest of the penalty shootout at the Allianz Arena after his effort was kept out by Manuel Neuer, but Cech saved his bacon as the Spaniard came out on the winning side.

After a troubled 2013-14 campaign under Jose Mourinho, Mata moved to provide a creative spark in the Manchester United midfield - where he still remains - but he has made just 11 appearances for the Red Devils this season.

Mata has started Man United's last two Premier League games but is widely expected to leave when his deal expires in the summer, and numerous clubs in La Liga are reportedly ready to try to lure the 34-year-old back to his native Spain.


Ryan Bertrand

Yes, that is correct. Ryan Bertrand started for Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final - his European debut, no less - but he was hooked on the 73-minute mark for Florent Malouda.

While he would go on to become a regular in 2012-13, Bertrand's Chelsea career had never really taken off and he left in 2015 to become a Southampton stalwart - eventually being handed the armband at St Mary's.

The left-back ended his South Coast role last year to join Leicester City, but he only made 11 appearances before a knee injury and subsequent surgery ruled him out for the rest of the season.


Didier Drogba

It just had to be Didier Drogba in the Champions League final. The immense Ivorian's near-post header proved too powerful for Neuer to keep out in the dying embers before he netted the game-winning penalty with panache to spark wild celebrations in the away end.

China and Galatasaray would come calling for Drogba before his one-year stint back at Chelsea in the 2014-15 campaign, and he would hang up his boots in the States after stints with Montreal, Arizona United and Phoenix Rising.

As much of an instrumental figure off the pitch, Drogba now works for the World Health Organization as their Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health. but his bid to become president of Ivory Coast's football federation failed last month.


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