Where Are They Now? Celtic’s 2003 UEFA Cup Finalists
Wing-back – Didier Agathe
Frenchman signed from Hibs in 2000, Agathe went onto make over 100 appearances for the club in a six-year spell. Like others in this squad, Agathe had a disappointing time trying to make his name in English football and made just six substitute appearances for Aston Villa in 2007. Moved back to his native Reunion to set up an academy, one in which has produced a couple of players who have made moves to Scotland.
Wing-back – Alan Thompson
Now as first-team coach at relegated Blackpool, the trophy-laden years at Celtic must feel a world away for Thompson. The Englishman enjoyed great success in Scotland, winning nine trophies and scoring vital goals against Barcelona, Liverpool and Rangers. Moved to Leeds in 2007 where he became caretaker manager, but will be remembered for making his England debut in 2004 whilst playing in the SPL.
Midfielder – Paul Lambert
Captained the side in Seville, Lambert’s experience and European pedigree couldn’t quite help Celtic hold on in extra-time, but his playing career is remembered fondly. As a manager however, Lambert has sullied his reputation with an abysmal stint at Aston Villa where he was sacked this year. Promising with Livingston, Wycombe, Colchester and Norwich, the Scot failed to improve a young and weak Villa side, though did bring in Jores Okore, Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke.
Midfielder – Neil Lennon
Won five titles as a manager in his four seasons at the helm, former skipper Lennon has hopped back into England to try and draw Bolton out of the Championship doldrums. Despite being made captain after Lambert’s departure, Lennon’s playing career dwindled in his later years at Celtic, never again reaching the same heights.
Midfielder – Stiliyan Petrov
Bulgarian Petrov’s post-football career has been the toughest after the midfielder was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in 2012. He remains in remission and has been coaching since 2013, a role given to him by former-teammate Lambert, though has since been promoted to assistant coach following Tim Sherwood’s appointment. A hugely popular figure at both Celtic and Villa where he made over 500 appearances.
Striker – Chris Sutton
Sutton scored almost 100 goals whilst in Scotland having played for Norwich, Blackburn and Chelsea in the Premier League. Regularly the foil for Swede Henrik Larsson, Sutton’s goalscoring record was still respectable, though struggled when leaving Celtic Park. He played just 18 more games for Birmingham and Villa before retiring due to blurred eyesight. Played cricket for Norwich and managed Lincoln since giving up the game, and can sometimes be heard doing punditry.
Striker – Henrik Larsson
Unlike many others, Larsson’s post-Celtic career went swimmingly, which was incredible considering the success he enjoyed whilst with the Buoys. 242 goals in 314 games makes Larsson one of the true Celtic greats and earned him a move to Barcelona. After a tricky time in Spain, Larsson bowed out with two assists to change the Champions League Final in 2006, then won the Premier League with Manchester United the following year.
Persistently urged to continue playing, Larsson made several attempts to retire before being persuaded to continue. He earned over 100 caps for Sweden and now manages Helsingborgs in his homeland. With over 500 career goals, Larsson will go down as arguably the best player to ever wear the green and white hoops.
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