Roman Abramovich completed his Chelsea takeover in the summer of 2003. A year later he lured over Porto’s Champions League winning manager Jose Mourinho, who not only talked the talk but walked the walk, as he led a new-look side to their first ever Premier League title in his maiden season in charge; breaking a catalogue of records in the process.
It’s been a whopping 14 years since that squad created history, and with Chelsea appointing Frank Lampard as their new manager, we take a look at what happened to the band of 2004/05.
Would retain the league title in 2005/06, only to controversially leave the club in 2007. After leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble, followed by an intense three-year spell at Real Madrid, the ‘Special One’ returned to Chelsea and won his third Premier League crown. The Portuguese coach then bagged the Man Utd job, but despite winning the Europa League and League Cup double in his first season, his tenure did not end well. Only last weekend the out-of-work gaffer rejected a gargantuan £88m offer to venture over to China.
The Chelsea legend spent 11 years at the club during which he won 13 trophies, and accumulated a club record 209 clean sheets. In 2015 he left the Blues to join London rivals Arsenal, but after hanging up his gloves in May the Czech keeper returned to Chelsea last month as a technical and performance advisor.
Captain. Leader. Legend.
John Terry left Chelsea in 2017 with over 700 appearances and 17 trophies in the cabinet. Not bad. He spent the following season in the Championship at Aston Villa, then returned to the Midlands club last October as assistant coach to Dean Smith, and helped propel them up to the Premier League. Terry was linked with a managerial move of his own but instead decided to sign a new contract with Villa until 2021. He’ll return to the Bridge in the opposition dugout in early December.
The commanding Portuguese defender was one-half of a formidable centre-back partnership with Terry. Carvalho won seven trophies in six years, then the former Porto player teamed-up with Mourinho for a third time at Real Madrid, which was followed by spells at Monaco and Shanghai SIPG, where he drew the curtains on his playing career in 2017. He was recently part of the World XI team that won Soccer Aid. Carvalho is now assistant-manager to another former Chelsea gaffer, accompanying compatriot André Villas-Boas in the Marseille dugout.
The first signing of the Abramovich era would move to the south coast where he helped Portsmouth win the FA Cup. He then spent six seasons at Liverpool, then three full campaigns at Stoke, before retiring in January. He also happens to be the proud owner of a Maths degree.
The versatile defender-midfielder was used sparingly during the 2004/05 season, but bagged enough appearances for a winners medal. The Russian went on to have loan spells at Portsmouth and Charlton, followed by stints at Dynamo Moscow and Fulham. Smertin now works for the Russian Football Union - in two roles - as an anti-racism and discrimination inspector, and director of regional policies and international relation.
Bridge won every major domestic honour during his six-year spell at Chelsea, although he would only make 87 league appearances due to injury and the arrival of Ashley Cole. Bridge ended his career at Reading in 2014 and has since been on the reality TV circuit, appearing on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and Celebrity SAS. Next step Strictly?
Spent nine seasons at Chelsea where he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League, Europa League, and most famously of all...the Community Shield. The former Portugal international is another former Chelsea player who is back at the club - as a technical coach to the club’s loan players.
The colourful defender would play for North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs, before he ventured Down Under to Perth Glory where he would retire in 2014. Has since worked as a pundit, but admitted in an interview with FourFourTwo that he would like to become a defensive coach at some point in the future, although he ruled out a career in the dugout.
This summer Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer signed a three-year deal to become the club’s first English manager since Glenn Hoddle. He’s the twelfth boss of the Abramovich era and arguably the biggest gamble, given that he’s only had a year’s experience under his managerial belt at Derby. His much-publicised return to the Bridge signals a new direction: could he now become the first English manager to win the Premier League?
You’ve got to be pretty good to have a role named after you: The Makelele Role. The defensive midfielder would move back to his homeland with PSG, where he would later become assistant manager. He bagged his own managerial job in 2014 with Bastia but lasted only 13 games. He’s since been a technical director of Monaco, assistant manager at Swansea, and head coach of Belgian side Eupen, and is currently being linked with a Chelsea return as part of Lampard’s revamped coaching set-up.
Did not make enough appearances for a Premier League medal, but received a replica if that counts. Became Fulham’s caretaker manager in February following the departure of Claudio Ranieri, a role which has since been made permanent.
After leaving Chelsea after a successful seven years, Cole would play for the likes of Liverpool, Lille, and West Ham, before calling it quits at Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2018. He returned to Chelsea earlier this year as the club’s technical academy coach where he’s using his abundance of experience to help young footballers.
The Irishman frequently terrorised opposition full-backs during three seasons at Chelsea. Duff ended his career in his homeland with Shamrock Rovers, where he got his first taste of coaching. He then got involved in the national set-up, and earlier this year he became the first team coach at Celtic.
Chelsea were blessed with wingers during this period, the best of whom was arguably Arjen Robben, who would go on to enjoy immense success with Bayern Munich, while he also spent two years at Real Madrid. The Dutchman retired from the beautiful game earlier this month.
After three years at Chelsea the versatile Cameroonian would go on to play for Newcastle, Turkish side Ankaragücü, and Greek outfit AEL. He’s now the president of Cameroon's player union.
Would coolly slot home the spot-kick that famously won Chelsea the Champions League in 2012. The striker would return to the club for the 2014/15 season, which was followed by spells at Montreal Impact and Phoenix Rising. Drogba is the Vice President of the international organization Peace and Sport, and like Makelele, has been linked with a return to the Bridge as part of Lampard’s coaching staff.
Would spend only a single season at Chelsea, where he netted just seven goals in 40 games. Despite this, he described the spell as “the best thing in my career”. The Serb would go on to play for the likes of Atletico Madrid, Fenerbahce, PSG, Zenit, and more randomly South China. He’s since become a sports agent, and counts Sergej Milinković-Savić as a client.
After leaving Chelsea, Iceland’s most iconic export won the Champions League at Barcelona, then in 2014 ended up back at Bolton. In January 2019 he was appointed the assistant manager of his country’s U21 team.
Huth surprisingly added another Premier League winners medal to the two he won at Chelsea, after he helped lead Leicester to glory in 2016. Earlier this year he revealed he had retired, via the medium of Twitter.
Tiago won league titles in England, France and Spain, and since the summer of 2017 has been an assistant manager at Atletico Madrid.
Signed from CSKA Moscow in January 2015 and within six months had scooped the League Cup and Premier League double. Counts Birmingham and Celtic as former clubs. Since hanging up his boots he has held assistant manager spells at Sparta Prague U21, fellow Czech side Slovan Liberec, and most recently over in Slovakia at MFK Ruzomberok.