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Where are they now: Real Madrid's 2002 Champions League winning squad

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 14:26 IST

Real Mad
Real Madrid won the 2002 Champions League

The La Liga back in the early 2000s was totally different - something the modern football fan would never recognise. In a span of 5 seasons where Real won the title twice, Deportivo and Valencia were dominant forces in Spanish football.

It didn't take long for Real and Barca to re-establish their duopoly though. Only one team other than these two has won the La Liga since 2005 (Atletico in 2014).

But those few years at the turn of the millennium was a time of delightful unpredictability in Spain. Valencia won two titles, Deportivo won the title once and finished runners-up twice. And there was also Deportivo's memorable run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2004.

For Real though, that period marked the beginning of Florentino Perez's extremely successful Galacticos policy, which began with the high profile and controversial signing of Luis Figo from Barcelona.

They then had their first major title under Perez in 2002, as Vincente del Bosque's men beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the Champions League final in Glasgow.

They also won the Spanish Super Cup and came second in the Copa del Rey. So where are the players of the first Galacticos team right now?


GK: Iker Casillas

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad de Futbol - La Liga
"Saint Iker" was Real Madrid through and through

The 2001/02 season marked Casillas' third full season with Real at just the age of 21, he received fierce competition from Cesar Sanchez. In fact, it was Sanchez who started the final in Glasgow, though Casillas had to replace him after an injury in the second half.

Having fallen out of favour at Madrid in his later years, he joined Porto in 2015, and still plays for the Portuguese giants. Although he admitted that retirement was on his mind, he still hasn't officially announced it yet.

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He even remains available for Spanish duty, but his last appearance came in 2016, having since been displaced by David de Gea as Spanish no. 1.

His legendary status in Madrid and Spain will never be in doubt, though, having led his country to a World Cup in 2010. In Real Madrid's immensely successful run over the past couple of decades, he was one of those very few superstars who made it through the academy before breaking into the first team.

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Published 27 Dec 2017, 16:09 IST
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