What Happened to the Porto 2004 Champions League-Winning Team?

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Goalkeeper - Vitor Baia

Finishing his career with 525 appearances in two spells at the club, Vitor Baia is seen as a legend at FC Porto. Baia was honoured with the UEFA Club Best Goalkeeper of the Year award for his Champions League heroics for Porto in 2004, where he eventually retired in 2007. The keeper ended his career with 30 trophies in his cabinet, including 10 Primeira Liga titles.

Right-back - Paulo Ferreira

After being converted from a winger to a full-back by Jose Mourinho, Paulo Ferreira became an ever-present in the Porto back four, missing just two league games. Upon winning the league and Champions League in 2004, Ferreira would join his manager by signing for Chelsea for a fee of around £13m. The right-back would go on to make up part of the best defensive line in Premier League history, as the Blues conceded just 15 goals in the 2004/05 season. After nine years in west London, Ferreira eventually retired, making 141 Premier League appearances.

Centre-back - Jorge Costa

As the captain of the side, Jorge Costa is another player who will go down in Porto folklore. Costa spent all but one year of his career on the books at Porto, with a few loan spells on his CV too. After making 383 appearances in all competitions, the centre-back left the club as an eight-time league champion, spending a season at Standard Liege before retiring in 2006.

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Centre back - Ricardo Carvalho

As one of the more successful players from this XI, Ricardo Carvalho followed in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho and Ferreira by signing for Chelsea after the Champions League final. Carvalho made up half of one of the Premier League’s greatest defensive partnerships alongside John Terry, winning the title in each of his first two seasons in England. After six years with the Blues, the defender once again linked up with a manager which he had played under at two clubs previously, signing for a Real Madrid side managed by Mourinho.

Left-back - Nuno Valente

As Portugal’s first choice left back in the early 2000s, Nuno Valente had an impressive career domestically and internationally. Valente would follow up his Champions League win by being a regular starter during his country’s runner-up tournament at Euro 2004. The full back would play a similar role at the World Cup in 2006, helping his side to a fourth-place finish. At the age of 30, Valente joined Everton, where he stayed until his retirement in 2009.

Defensive midfield – Costinha

In a career that saw Costinha play in five different countries, the highlight of his career came in 2004, with Porto’s famous Champions League win. He made more appearances for the Portuguese giants than he did for any other club, between 2001 and 2005, before being sold to Dynamo Moscow. After sporadic appearances for Atletico Madrid and Atalanta between 2006 and 2010, Costinha eventually announced his retirement, stepping into management.

Midfield - Pedro Mendes

Another player who swapped Porto for English football, Pedro Mendes signed for Tottenham in a deal that saw Helder Postiga move in the opposite direction. His time in north London was not as successful as he would have hoped though, making 30 league appearances and being sold in January 2006. The midfielder would enjoy a more fruitful spell at Portsmouth however, starting in the 2008 FA Cup final, with Pompey beating Cardiff 1-0. Mendes is currently employed as an agent, following his retirement in 2012.

Centre midfield – Maniche

With 80 league appearances to his name, midfielder Maniche left Porto alongside Costinha and Giourkas Seitardis and headed for Dynamo Moscow. However, Maniche became unsettled at his new club and eventually joined Chelsea on loan in 2006, but didn’t manage to notch up enough appearances to earn a Premier League winners medal, as the Blues won their second title in two years. The midfielder would go on to have spells at Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Cologne, before retiring in his own country in 2011, with Sporting Lisbon.

Attacking midfield – Deco

Like Carvalho, Deco has a strong argument to claim that he is the most successful alumnus from this team. The tricky midfielder was named as UEFA’s Club Footballer of the Year in 2004 after a Man of the Match display in the Champions League final, which saw him score the second goal of the game. Deco’s post-Porto career is probably most notable for his time at Barcelona, where he would once again win Europe’s biggest club prize in 2006, as well as two La Liga titles. Like so many of his Porto teammates, the former Ballon d’Or runner up would end up at Chelsea, winning two FA Cups and a Premier League, before moving to Fluminense in 2010. After three years in Brazil, Deco retired in 2013.

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Striker - Carlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto scored just five goals for Porto during his year in Portugal, but he could not have chosen a bigger occasion to make an impact. The Brazilian scored the opening goal against Monaco in the Champions League final, sending his side on their way to a 3-0 win. Alberto would enjoy something of a journeyman career after his year in Portugal, signing for 12 different clubs between 2005 and 2019. His most notable spell in this time came between 2009 and 2013, where he scored 26 times in 117 games. After scoring 76 times in 446 games, Alberto retired in 2019.

Striker – Derlei

Like his strike partner, Derlei was also a Brazilian forward who enjoyed a nomadic career. Similar to two of his teammates, the striker moved to Russia in 2005, where he would score a respectable 20 goals in 41 league games, before leaving in 2007. Following spells back in Portugal with Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, Derlei returned to his home country in 2009, before retiring a year later.

Manager- Jose Mourinho

With a whopping 25 career honours, Jose Mourinho will undoubtedly go down as one of the best managers in the history of the game, but it was with Porto where he made his name. After his historic 2003/04 season in his native Portugal, ‘the Special One’ made the move to Chelsea, where he would make an instant impact, winning the league title in both of his first two seasons in England. Mourinho would go on to win league and domestic titles in Italy and Spain, as well as capturing European football’s biggest prize once again in 2010, as part of a treble-winning campaign with Inter Milan. The 58-year-old is currently plying his trade at Tottenham Hotspur, where he is facing criticism for his sides recent form.

By Luke Feather


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