Blues Brothers 2000
Inside Blue Tue 20 Feb 2018
This week brings the latest instalment in the story of Chelsea's matches against Barcelona, but what have the stars of our first Champions League meeting with the Catalonians been up to since?
We first faced Barca in Europe's top club competition in the 1999/00 quarter-finals, recording a historic victory in the first leg at Stamford Bridge as Gianfranco Zola opened the scoring and Tore Andre Flo hit a brace to give us a 3-1 win.
So, what have those two and the rest of that day's Chelsea starting line-up been doing for the 18 years since that famous triumph at the turn of the century?
Ed de Goey
Dutch goalkeeper De Goey left Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2003, but stayed in England for a further three seasons with Stoke City, making over 50 appearances in the Championship for the Potters, before retiring in 2006. He then moved into coaching, staying in the second division to come back to west London for a brief spell as a first-team coach with Queens Park Rangers, one of several new faces on John Gregory's staff that season, alongside fellow former Chelsea player Mick Harford. However, before long he returned to his homeland the Netherlands to work with the next generation of goalkeepers, first at RKC Waalwijk and then ADO Den Haag.
Chelsea was the final club of Ferrer's playing career, with the right-back hanging up his boots in 2003. After a few years as a commentator and pundit in his native Spain, Chapi – as he was affectionately known – entered the world of management in 2010. His first role came in the Dutch top flight with Vitesse Arnhem, negotiating a difficult campaign to secure their Eredivisie survival with a squad including Blues loanees Matej Delac, Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic, as well as future Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel. He went home to Spain in 2014 and made an excellent start, leading Cordoba to promotion to the top division after beating Las Palmas in the 2014 play-off final. La Liga proved a tougher prospect, and Ferrer left in October with Cordoba in last place, before returning to the second division for a short spell in charge at Mallorca.
Despite being 36 years old when he left Chelsea in 2004, Desailly wasn't quite ready to hang up his boots. Instead, the French World Cup winner moved to Qatar for a season each with Al-Gharafa and Qatar SC, claiming the league title with the first of those clubs. Since retiring in 2006 he has mostly been seen as a media pundit during major tournaments, working with both the BBC and ITV in the UK, although he has also worked with a number of charitable organisations, including UNICEF and OrphanAid Africa.
The Brazilian defender was in his last season with Chelsea when he helped us beat Barcelona in the Champions League, but his playing days were far from over as he went on to play for Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Derby County in England, before finishing his career in Japan with Vissel Kobe in 2007. Since then he has been working as a scout, primarily looking at players in Portugal and Brazil for a number of clubs, including Premier League sides Everton and West Ham United.
The left-back departed Stamford Bridge in 2005 and spent three years with Newcastle United before being reunited with his former Blues boss Ruud Gullit for a short but unsuccessful time in the USA with LA Galaxy. After a brief, but again unsuccessful, trial at Portsmouth, Babayaro retired in 2010 and has largely stayed away from the football world and flown under the radar ever since, despite staying in the west London area, although he did reappear to compete for Nigeria once again at last year's Star Sixes tournament.
Another player in his last season with Chelsea in 1999/00, Petrescu retired in 2003 after spells with Bradford, Southampton and National Bucharest. Since then he has been arguably the busiest man on this list, embarking on a well-travelled management career which has taken in 13 clubs in six different countries. The highlights include guiding Romanian side, Sportul Studentesc to promotion to the top flight in his first season in management, winning minnows Unirea Urziceni's first-ever top-flight title before earning shock Champions League victories over Rangers and Sevilla, earning another promotion in Russia with Kuban Krasnodar and lifting the Chinese FA Cup with Jiangsu Suning. The weirdest was undoubtedly his short time with Targu Mures in Romania, where he stayed for just one game but lifted silverware, guiding them to victory in the country's Supercup before resigning and moving to China. This season Petrescu is back in Romania with Cluj.
Captain Wise's long Chelsea career came to an end in 2001, going on to represent Leicester, Millwall, Southampton and Coventry before retiring in 2006. His time with both Millwall and Southampton saw him taking on the role of manager alongside his playing duties, but his first full-time management job came with Swindon shortly after his retirement. With former Blues team-mate Gus Poyet as his assistant, Wise started in style, winning six of his first seven games to top the table and take the League Two Manager of the Month award, and was still in third place in October when he was tempted away to Leeds and the Championship. However, he couldn't turn his new club's fortunes around and a 10-point penalty sealed their relegation. Although Leeds were on course for promotion the next season, Wise decided to end his time in management in favour of a behind-the-scenes role as a director at Premier League side Newcastle United. That proved to be his last involvement in football, as he later stepped away from the game, but he returned the Bridge to carry the Premier League trophy onto the pitch after last season's title triumph and was most recently seen as a contestant on the latest series of reality TV show I'm A Celebrity...
Given his excellent reading of the game, it should be no surprise that Deschamps had embarked on a successful management career within a year of leaving Chelsea. The Barcelona game came in his only campaign with the Blues, and after one more season with Valencia he moved straight into management at Monaco. He won the Coupe de la Ligue in the principality and led the club to their first-ever Champions League final in 2004, before taking charge of a club which saw him enjoy huge success as a player, Juventus. His return to Turin was short-lived, but he did play a big part in the team's revival as he took them back to the top flight at the first attempt as Serie B champions. His next job again saw him tasked with returning a fallen giant to the big time, and again he was a big success as Marseille claimed their first league title for 18 years, followed by three consecutive Coupe de la Ligue triumphs. Since 2012 he has been in charge of the French national team, the highlight coming at Euro 2016 when he led them to the final on home soil, and he is currently plotting their 2018 World Cup campaign, where Les Bleus have been drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Peru and Denmark.
The Chelsea youth-team graduate went on to represent Leeds, Rotherham, Millwall, St Johnstone and Bristol City during the rest of his playing career, before going full circle and returning to Stamford Bridge to work in the same Academy which launched his own career. After a highly successful time assisting with our Under-21s and Under-18s, Morris took on the top role coaching the younger category in 2016 and has enjoyed plenty of silverware in the job, guiding the teenagers to an unprecedented Treble by lifting the FA Youth Cup and taking both the southern and national Under-18 Premier League titles in 2016/17.
Tore Andre Flo
The Norwegian continued playing for another 12 years after leaving Chelsea at the end of the 1999/00 season, twice coming out of retirement to enjoy spells with Rangers, Sunderland, Siena, Valerenga, Leeds, MK Dons and Sogndal. After hanging up his boots for the final time, the former striker set up his own soccer school based in Berkshire and the surrounding area. He then became another former Blue to return to the club to work with the next generation of players, initially coaching the younger age groups in our Academy before taking his current role working with our loan players and acting as a club ambassador.
The skilful Italian left the Bridge in 2003 for a fairytale return to his local club Cagliari, helping take them back into Serie A. He retired after one season in the top flight and was soon recruited by former Chelsea team-mate Pierluigi Casiraghi to work as his assistant manager with the Italy Under-21s, reaching the quarter-finals at the 2008 Olympic Games in China. He then came back to the Premier League to become a manager in his own right with West Ham, but despite winning over the fans with his attractive brand of football and willingness to give young players he chance, he left in 2010 after narrowly avoiding relegation. He returned with Championship side Watford and came agonisingly close to winning promotion, losing the 2013 play-off final 1-0 to Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, subsequent spells in charge at Cagliari, Al-Arabi and, last season, Birmingham have ended in disappointment.