Djimi's Law: Let's remember the most unlikely of Champions League winners

Some players were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time

BY Raf Diallo 16:04 Tuesday 1 March 2016, 16:04 1 Mar 2016

Liverpool players Djibril Cisse, left, and Djimi Traore celebrate at the end of Champions League quarter-final second leg soccer match against Juventus at Delle Alpi stadium in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, April 13, 2005.Liverpool won 2-1 on aggregate to advance to the semi-final. (Picture by: MASSIMO PINCA / AP/Press Association Images)

In football, there is an element of being in the right club at the right time for certain players.

Some have been lucky enough to find themselves right in the picture when club football's greatest prize is handed out.

It is easy to forget that the occasionally clumsy Djimi Traore is a Champions League winner. And not just a winner. A starter in Istanbul, the defender who last played for Seattle Sounders in the MLS was involved for all 120 minutes of that epic Champions League final (not for the penalty shootout though), only months after scoring this memorable own goal in an FA Cup tie against Burnley:

Traore who turns 36 today will never get a better present than that night at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium.

Indeed that Liverpool side was packed with players who have become somewhat forgotten despite the fact that they are officially Champions League winners.

Antonio Nunez, Josemi, Scott Carson and Igor Biscan were not given the opportunity to step off the bench in Istanbul but had ringside seats as they watched Liverpool stun AC Milan that night.

Liverpool's spanish trio Josemi, Antonio Nunez and (the more memorable) Luis Garcia celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League. Picture by: Adam Davy / EMPICS Sport

Thanks to injuries and suspensions, Manchester United's fairytale final in 1999 also featured some unlikely protagonists like defender David May, who was a prominent figure in the post-match celebrations at the Nou Camp despite not taking to the field.

But his team's treble success did spark the chant: "David May, superstar! Got more medals than Shearer!"

David May rose above everyone else ... in the photo (AP Photo/Cesar Rangel, File)

Sitting alongside him on the night in '99 was young midfielder Jonathan Greening, now of Tadcaster Albion, who would later go on to have a respectable Premier League career with Middlesbrough and West Brom, but adding just a League Cup to that Champions League triumph.

Chelsea's gritty 2012 success saw current Leeds United keeper Ross Turnbull shadowing final hero Petr Cech from the bench, while it is often easy to forget that Southampton left-back started that night in Munich on the left wing as the Blues stuck to their park-the-bus mentality under Roberto Di Matteo, who himself is one of the least high-profile managers to get his hands to that particular trophy.

Fortunately for him, he was at the right place at the right time before Roman Abramovich indulged in his favourite hobby - which goes without saying.


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