We all remember the Hollywood story of Portsmouth. Winning the FA Cup was a dream for this small, south coast club in 2008 under Harry Redknapp. They made a meteoric rise to success after being promoted from Division One, including a UEFA Cup run.
Their demise has been just as spectacular however. Administrations, new owners, relegations have now seen the club plummet down to League 2. It is a far cry from the superstars which took to the field that day in May 2008, we take a look at where those players are now.
One of football’s great journeymen, he was also one of the finest ‘keepers to grace the Premier League. James has 53 England caps, and also played with teams like Liverpool, Man City, Aston Villa and West Ham.
Now 44, he is an MBE, and is currently player-manager of Kerala Blasters FC, in the Indian Super League. Interestingly, former Cobh Ramblers and Kilkenny City defender Colin Falvey also plays for the Blasters.
The energetic full back was one of Portsmouth’s star performers in the 2007/08 season. His pace and ability going forward as well as solidity defensively made him stand out. Johnson has 54 caps for England, and has been first choice right back for many years. He played with Chelsea and West Ham, he is currently with Liverpool, joining them in July 2009 for £17.5 million from Portsmouth.
Captained Portsmouth to glory that day in 2008. He has been one of the best central defenders to play in the Premier League and has been capped 73 times for England. Campbell has featured for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle in the past.
Campbell won two Premier League medals, and two FA Cup medals, as well as scoring in a Champions League final. Has done some media work since, appearing on Sky Sports Super Sunday recently. Also, set up and runs a charity called ‘Kids go Live,’ which allows inner city children attend big sporting events.
At 36, Distin is still playing and impressing week in, week out for Everton. He was in inspired form for the Toffees last season as they finished 5th, with a record points tally. His place has come under threat with the emergence of John Stones recently. However, at 36, and with over five years service to the club, he owes them nothing.
The 40 year-old Icelandic full back spent 15 years in England, taking in Crystal Palace, Brentford, Wimbledon, Ipswich, Charlton, Portsmouth and Coventry. He made 123 appearances for Portsmouth between 2007 and 2012. He collected 89 caps for Iceland, and is currently playing with Icelandic club Fylkir, after an unsuccessful spell as manager of IBV.
The talented midfielder has 28 caps for France and joined Pompey from Arsenal. After one season on the south coast he joined the Galacticos of Real Madrid.
Diarra Spent three seasons there, before two spells in Russia with Anzhi and Lokomotiv Moscow. Currently a free agent, the 29 year-old has been linked with a move back to Arsenal, as he hopes to make his way back into the France squad for Euro 2016.
Utaka spent four seasons at Portsmouth after joining from Rennes, He was usually deployed as a striker or right winger. The Nigerian has played at two World Cups, and has 43 caps for his national side. Currently in Turkey, playing with Sivasspor since 2013. He left Portsmouth in 2011, joining Montpellier, winning the French League in 2012.
Famous for scoring absolute belters for Pompey, the long haired midfield maestro is a legend on the south coast. Won a Champions League with Porto in 2004, he joined Rangers in 2008 from Portsmouth, before spells with Sporting Lisbon and Vitoria Guimares in his native Portugal, before retiring from football in 2012.
The Croat is also a hero on the south coast, and a personal favourite of Harry Redknapp. Redknapp has signed the creative midfielder three times in his career.
He joined Spurs in 2009 from Portsmouth. He spent three years at White Hart Lane before joining Dynamo Kiev. Redknapp brought Kranjcar back to London in 2013, signing him on loan for QPR, where he is still playing in the Premier League.
The Ghanaian 30 year-old was a powerhouse for Pompey during his time there. Following his time with Portsmouth he joined Inter Milan in 2008 before coming back to England in 2011 to join Sunderland on loan.
He then joined Inter’s rivals AC Milan on loan in 2012, before signing permanently with the club the same year. He has been embroiled in controversy with his national side, excluded from the 2010 African Cup of Nations squad, as well as being sent home from the 2014 World Cup.
One of Africa’s most decorated players. He has won the Champions League, UEFA Cup, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups, and an Olympic Gold Medal.
He also has 87 caps for Nigeria. Kanu stayed with Portsmouth until 2012 when he retired, aged 36. He underwent his second heart surgery in March 2014, 17 years after his first. Recovered well, he is now a UNICEF ambassador as well as running his own charity, the Kanu Heart Foundation.
Nigel Naughton, Pundit Arena.
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