Football

The Celtic Team That Beat Manchester United In 2006 - Where Are They Now?

Celtic fans are surely not relishing their trip to Paris this week. After a 5-0 hammering at Celtic Park, it's unlikely to get any better tomorrow night.

The perfect time, then, for Celtic to remember night of triumph, a night they conquered giants of European football, a night that was eleven years ago today, a night they beat the mighty Manchester United.

In 2006-07, Manchester United reclaimed the Premier League after four frustrating years. The 2004-06 period was the closest Alex Ferguson came to a post-1993 managerial slump. In that resurgent year, they also made it back to the business end of the Champions League, losing comfortably to Milan in the semi-final.

But they fell to a plucky Celtic along the way. Here is the Celtic XI that started that day. There are men charged with attempted manslaughter and Las Vegas millionaires in their midst.

Artur Boruc

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"The Holy Goalie"

By goalkeeping standards, he was but a sprog in 2006. The Pole wrote his name in lights on that night with last minute penalty save from Louis Saha.

He enjoyed three trophy laden years under Gordon Strachan before his form dipped in the last couple of the seasons. He departed for Fiorentina at the end of the Tony Mowbray led 2009-10 season.

Got into the spirit of the Old Firm rivalry during his time there. Following a crucial win over Rangers in May 2008, he unveiled a T-shirt bearing the message 'God Bless the Pope'.

Where's he now? Having enjoyed a resurgence of sorts in the Premier League with Bournemouth, he has lost his place this season to Asmir Begović and now warms the bench at The Vitality.

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Name sounds like: A sainted Polish priest

Paul Telfer

Workmanlike and experienced defender who Strachan had already worked with at Coventry. Spent two seasons at Celtic, picking up a couple of Scottish League titles.

Lore had it that he always preferred golf to football.

Where's he now? Now in his mid-40s. A nifty golfer, he had successfully gotten his handicap down to two. He is perennially included in lists of professional footballers who excel at golf.

Later moved into football coaching at Gordon Strachan's urgings.

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Name sounds like: UKIP MEP

Bobo Balde

Once dubbed 'the Xavi of the air' by Balls.ie's PJ Browne. An uncomplicated but much loved player, Balde had a curiously endearing quality.

In this respect, perhaps Bobo Balde's greatest asset was his name, which was incredibly fun to say.

Where's he now? Last we heard, Bobo, who declared bankruptcy is 2009, is living in the south of France and working with the Guinea national team.

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Name sounds like: Character in a children's book.

Stephen McManus

He earned 150 appearances at the heart of the Celtic defence under both Martin O'Neill, Gordon Strachan and the unfortunate Tony Mowbray.

Where's he now? Retired at the end of last season, having finished his career at Motherwell, where he has taken up a coaching role. 

Name sounds like: A Celtic player.

Lee Naylor

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Having spent years at Wolves, Naylor joined the Scottish champions in 2006, featuring on the team that night in November 2006. The left-back won the Player of the Month that October.

Where's he now? Released by Derby in 2015, Naylor hasn't played since. Most recently seen at a "legends" game, scoring a goal in slow motion.

Name sounds like: A minor character in a Guy Ritchie film

Shunsuke Nakamura

Possibly most famous for his winning goal that night than for anything else. Nakamura played four seasons for Celtic between 2005 and 2009, and became a cult hero at Parkhead. Celtic originally picked him up from Reggina, whom followers of the Gazzetta Football Italia will remember fondly.

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Where's he now? At 39, Nakamura is still knocking around in Japan's J1 League, having signed for Jublio Iwata this season, where he remains a first team regular.

Name sounds like: A WWE wrestler.

Thomas Gravesen

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Another of those who joined Celtic in the summer of 2006, Thomas Gravesen remained with the club for two seasons. A thoughtful, ball-playing midfielder, he arrived at Park Head from Real Madrid. After Celtic he returned on loan to Everton, a spell which marked the swansong of his career.

Where's he now? In the case of most footballers, their actual football career marks the peak of their earning power. Thereafter they live off a mixture of the proceeds and the bits and pieces they are able to do afterwards.

Gravesen apparently invested his money in a few wise ventures which came up trumps. He is now worth somewhere in the region of $8-10 million, though, in their excitement, the press originally reported that his net worth was many multiples of this. He currently lives in Las Vegas, where you're likely to find him in a high stakes poker game.

Name sounds like: Bond villain from the Pierce Brosnan era.

Neil Lennon

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Not necessary to offer details about Mr. Lennon's stellar Celtic career.

Where's he now? Hardly needs to be said, but Lennon is the manager of Hibs where they sit 3rd in the table and has just received a contract extension . Still pops up on TV3 to do a bit of Champions League punditry from time to time.

Name sounds like: A leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s and a member of Eamonn McCann's canvassing team.

Evander Sno

A bit-parter at Celtic between 2006 and 2008, Sno's career has largely been confined to Holland, where he has played for a bewilderingly large number of clubs, never really settling for longer than a season.

Where's he now? Sno retired from football earlier this year aged just 30. He suffered a heart attack in training seven years ago and needed a defibrillator to bring him around.

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Back in April, he was acquitted of 'attempted manslaughter' by a Dutch judge over an incident in 2013 when two individuals were allegedly beaten and kicked in the head when they were on the ground.

Name sounds like: Evil wizard in the Harry Potter book.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

The Dutchman with the aristo surname wasn't long in the club when they beat Manchester United. He stayed at Celtic until 2009, scoring over thirty goals while there. In truth, he was far from a wildly prolific striker.

Where's he now? Quit football in 2012. Spends most of his time now talking about football, and especially Celtic, in the media.

Name sounds like: A Dutch military general from the 16th century

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Maciej Zurawski

A very experienced player by the time he joined Celtic, Zurawski made his club debut in Poland in 1994. He enjoyed a good strike-rate on the trophy front at Celtic. He won three Scottish Leagues in three seasons.

He enjoyed a superb first season with Celtic hitting 20 goals - that would be the season where Keano played a smattering of games and picked up an SPL medal.

In 2006-07, he started the season well before suffering an injury in January '07.

Where's he now? Quit the game in 2011 and has since kept a low-ish profile, only now appearing the media to provide Celtic comment to Scottish newspapers.

Name sounds like: An EU commissioner whose comments would be lampooned by the UK press.

SEE ALSO: 'There Were Irish Supporters Fainting In The Stand' - Balls Recalls The Hottest Day In Irish Football History



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