Football Features

What happened next? The Monaco XI beaten by Porto in the 2004 Champions League final

By Squawka News

Published: 15:00, 29 July 2020

Monaco were certainly Champions League underdogs during their 2003/04 campaign, but after finishing top of their group they defeated some of the tournament’s favourites and remarkably reached the final of Europe’s most prestigious competition. 

Unfortunately for Didier Deschamps’ men, they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Jose Mourinho’s plucky Porto side — who also enjoyed a remarkable campaign — in the final.

Since then, Monaco have endured a rocky spell, going through Ligue 1 relegation, a takeover, numerous managers, a return to the top flight and a title win in 2016/17 — helped by the emergence of Kylian Mbappe, who was just five years old when Les Monégasques reached this final

So what happened next to the side who almost captured the Champions League crown in 2004? How many have now got their hands on a winners’ medal?

Goalkeeper: Flavio Roma

Age: 46

Appearances for Monaco: 229

Current club: Retired

Flavio Roma joined Monaco in 2001 and spent nine years at the club, playing over 200 times. He left in 2009 and signed for AC Milan, but after being unable to impose himself as a first-team player during his time at the San Siro, he returned to Monaco three years later.

This time the shot-stopper was more of a squad player and retired in 2014.

Right-back: Hugo Ibarra

Age: 46

Appearances for Monaco: 35

Current club: Retired

Hugo Ibarra was actually on loan from Porto during the Champions League final in 2004. The defender spent just a single season with Monaco before moving to Espanyol the following year. The Argentine – who had 11 caps for his national side – returned home in 2005 and spent five years at Boca Juniors before retiring in 2010.

Centre-back: Julien Rodriguez

Age: 42

Appearances for Monaco: 145

Current side: Retired

Julien Rodriguez started his career at Monaco in 1997 and played 145 times over an eight-year period. He was part of the side that reached the 2003-04 Champions League final. He signed for Rangers in 2005 but only spent two years at the Scottish club before being transferred to Marseille in 2007. He hung up his boots five years later, aged 34.

Centreback: Gael Givet

Age: 38

Appearances for Monaco: 204

Current side: Retired

The combative centre-back spent nine years at Monaco and was part of the side that won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003. He left Monaco to sign for arch-rivals Marseille in 2007, but after two years he moved to the Premier League, signing for Blackburn Rovers.

After four years in England, Givet had spells at Arles-Avignon, Evian TG and Tours before retiring in 2016.

Left-back: Patrice Evra

Age: 39

Appearances for Monaco: 148

Current role: Trainee coach (Manchester United)

One of Monaco’s most successful young players, Patrice Evra played 148 times for the French club before carrying on his glitzy career at Manchester United. He went on to win five Premier League trophies and the 2007/08 Champions League during his time with the Red Devils, although life in Manchester did not get off to the best start. Looking back on his career in 2020, Evra admitted he questioned himself after Man Utd lost 3-1 to Manchester City is his debut.

Speaking to Man Utd’s official website of a meeting with his agent, Evra said: “‘What the hell am I doing here?” he said. “I was chilling in Monte Carlo chilling, but here the football is so fast. ‘Oh my God, you’re so done Patrice. You should go back to Monte Carlo’. I remember thinking that and the worst part is when the game was finished.

“We went back to my flat with my agent and his wife and my agent looked at me like this and said, ‘Patrice, I’m sorry’. I was like, ‘Why?’ ‘I’m sorry to bring you here. You’ll never make it, it’s too hard, you should stay in Monte Carlo’. In front of his wife!

“That day I was so bad, so embarrassing. My agent actually telling me I should have never gone to Manchester United. So yeah, I have this tough moment, but it helped me to become who I am.“

After leaving Man Utd, Evra captured the Serie A title with Juventus. Short and rather controversial spells with Marseille and West Ham followed before Evra hung up his boots to pursue a coaching career in 2018.

Central midfield: Edouard Cisse

Age: 42

Appearances for Monaco: 44

Current side: Retired

Edouard Cisse was a key part of Monaco’s midfield during the 2003-04 season, after spending the campaign on loan from PSG. He made 44 appearances before moving to Besiktas in 2007. Spells at Marseille and Auxerre followed before the now 42-year-old retired from football in 2012.

Central midfield: Lucas Bernardi

Age: 42

Appearances for Monaco: 205

Current role: Manager (Godoy Cruz)

Known for his defensive midfield ability, Lucas Bernardi made over 200 appearances for Monaco and scored three goals. The Argentine spent seven years with the French club before signing for Newell’s Old Boys in 2008. He retired six years later after playing over 200 games for Newell’s and has managed them since retirement. He’s now in charge of Godoy Cruz, in Argentina.

Central midfield: Akis Zikos

Age: 46

Appearances for Monaco: 128

Current role: Retired

Greece international Akis Zikos played 128 times for Monaco during his four years at the club, well known for his defensive actions and hard tackling. He left the club in 2006 and signed for AEK Athens back in his homeland.

Zikos spent two years with the side before retiring from football after helping AEK reach the Champions League qualifying rounds. He now oversees youth team operations for the Greek giants.

Right wing: Ludovic Giuly 

Age: 44

Appearances for Monaco: 239

Current side: Retired

One of Monaco’s best players, Ludovic Giuly played 239 times for the side and was a wonderful attacking player. The winger, nicknamed the Magic Elf, due to his small stature and ability on the ball, scored 60 goals and notched seven assists during his time at the French club, and in 2004 earned a huge move to Barcelona.

His time with the Catalan club ended three years later as Giuly signed for Roma, and then PSG in 2008. He re-signed for Monaco in 2011 and spent one year back at the club before moving to Lorient, where the Frenchman spent one season. Giuly rounded off his career back where it all began, Monts d’Or Azergues, who have since named their stadium in his honour.

Left wing: Jerome Rothen

Age: 42

Appearances for Monaco: 94

Current side: Retired

Another flamboyant winger, Jerome Rothen spent two years with Monaco before moving to PSG in 2004. The midfielder enjoyed a six-year spell in the capital and won five trophies. Spells at Rangers on loan, Bastia and Caen followed, as the France international hung up his boots at the end of the 2013-14 season.

Striker: Fernando Morientes

Age: 44

Appearances for Monaco: 40

Current role: Retired

A previous Champions League winner, Fernando Morientes spent the 2003/04 season on loan at Monaco from Real Madrid and scored 19 goals in 40 appearances. His influence was fantastic during his one year at the club, as he earned a move to Premier League side Liverpool the following season. Morientes had to watch on as his new club won the Champions League dramatically against AC Milan in 2005, being cup-tied.

The Spaniard lasted just one year in England and moved back to Spain in 2006, signing for Valencia. He spent time at Marseille and Santa Ana before retiring in 2015.

He’s since dipped his toes into the world of management and has spent time coaching Real Madrid’s youth teams, though he currently finds himself without a club.

Substitutes

Sebastien Squillaci

Age: 39

Appearances for Monaco: 140

Current side: Retired

Sebastien Squillaci spent eight years at Monaco and played 140 times for the French side. He moved to Lyon in 2006 and won two consecutive Ligue 1 titles. The defender had two years at Sevilla before moving to Arsenal in 2010.

He struggled to impose himself as a first-team regular at the Emirates and left for a short spell at Bastia before calling it a day in 2017. He is now back at Monaco as an assistant coach of the U17 side.

Dado Prso

Age: 45

Appearances for Monaco: 122

Current role: Retired

Dado Prso scored 36 goals in 122 games during his eight years at Monaco. He left the club in 2004 and went on to have a successful spell in Scotland with Rangers. He retired from football in 2007 and has since spent time as a youth coach in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Shabani Nonda

Age: 43

Appearances for Monaco: 128

Current role: Retired

Shabani Nonda spent five years at Monaco after moving from Rennes in 2000. The striker scored 61 goals in 128 games for the French side, and his strong goalscoring record earned him a move to Roma in 2005. A brief loan spell at Blackburn followed in 2006, and he ended his playing career at Galatasaray, retiring in 2010.

Throughout his career, Nonda has been well-known for his role as a radio DJ in his native Burundi, while he’s a member of the “Champions for Peace” group alongside other famous athletes looking to create peace through sport.

Subs: (Didn’t appear in final)

GK – Tony Sylva (Retired), MF – Jaroslav Plasil (Retired), MF – Hassan El Fakiri (Retired), CF – Emmanuel Adebayor (Olimpia)