Whatever happened to Porto’s unlikely heroes?

Jason Rodgers

With charismatic young manager Jose Mourinho at the helm, FC Porto were a force in Europe during the early 2000s. Mourinho’s side lifted the UEFA Cup in 2003 and followed this up with the Champions League crown in 2004, after an emphatic 3-0 win over AS Monaco in the final.

Much of Porto’s success was built on their stellar defence. The Champions League semi-final tie against Deportivo La Coruna would be a tight and cautious affair, with Derlei’s second-leg penalty away in Spain proving to be the only goal over the two games.

The fantastic thing about Porto’s squad was its domestic core, with nine members of the starting XI being Portuguese. But where are these players now?

SEE ALSO: Valencia CF Class of 2004: Where are they now?

Porto cruised to a 20th Primeira Liga title in 2004, and came within half an hour of winning the treble, losing the Taça de Portugal final to Benfica 2-1 in extra time.

Unfortunately for them however, 2004 would be the peak of Porto’s European power. Mourinho left the club to join Chelsea at the end of the season, and with him went key personnel. Mourinho’s replacement, Luigi Delnari, was sacked before the 2004/05 season started, and the Portuguese side haven’t come close to winning the Champions League since.

What are your favourite memories of this classic Porto side? Let us know in the comments below!

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