Liverpool host Cardiff City at Anfield on Sunday in the FA Cup fourth round, awaiting the highly anticipated return of Harvey Elliott after almost five months on the sidelines. 

Jürgen Klopp may be able to afford some time to the club’s younger talent like Elliott and Kaide Gordon, while it is yet to be seen whether £49 million singing Luis Díaz will get a first outing.

The Reds have shared a few intense battles with the Bluebirds in recent years in the Premier League, but you would have to cast your mind back a decade to 2012’s League Cup Final for the last time both clubs met in a cup competition.

A mix Kop favourites and flops took to the field that day at Wembley, all with varying career paths in the years that followed, which makes for some interesting reading.

So, here is what life had in store for the Liverpool’s last cup side to face Cardiff City 10 years ago.

Goalkeeper – Pepe Reina


Pepe Reina spent eight years on Merseyside and joined an elite group of Liverpool’s finest ‘keepers in history.

He recorded 177 clean sheets in 394 matches for Liverpool, not missing a single league game between 2007 and 2012 and impressively won three consecutive Premier League Golden Glove Awards between 2006 and 2008.

The Spaniard was underwhelmingly moved on by Brendan Rodgers in 2014, spending his final year on loan with Rafael Benitez at Napoli, and has since played for Bayern Munich, Napoli again, AC Milan, Aston Villa, and Lazio.

Defender – Glen Johnson

The best English right back is a hotly contested debate these days, but a decade ago in his prime Glen Johnson occupied that title.

He enjoyed six years at Liverpool, where he recorded a goal and assist on his debut in a Man of the Match winning performance, scored rockets against former clubs West Ham and Chelsea, and made 200 appearances in all competitions for the Reds.

Johnson retired in 2019 at the age of 34 after four years at Stoke City, and now owns a real estate investment business alongside offering his thoughts on the game through radio punditry.

Defender – Martin Škrtel

Another name remembered fondly around Anfield, Martin Škrtel was known for his tough man attitude with a knack for bullet headers, scoring seven goals from defence as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League in 2013/14.

His role diminished under Rodgers and eventually Klopp had no place for him in his team, so Škrtel departed in 2016 having made 320 Reds appearances. Since, he has enjoyed success in Turkey with Fenerbahçe and Istanbul Basaksehir, and now plays in his native Slovakia for Spartak Trnava.

Defender – Daniel Agger

Like Škrtel, Daniel Agger was another Kop hero of the era, making 232 appearances between 2006 and 2014. He became vice-captain in 2013 after Jamie Carragher’s retirement, but under Rodgers was phased out of the squad, scoring in his final game v Newcastle at Anfield.

Afterwards he re-joined boyhood club Brondby and retired two years later in 2016. Now, he is a qualified tattoo artist with YNWA etched onto his right hand, and in June 2021 became coach of HB Koge in Denmark.

Defender – José Enrique

Five of José Enrique’s nine years in England were spent at Liverpool, having originally been a Newcastle player. In fact, one of the most memorable moments in a Reds shirt came at St. James’ Park against his old side, filling in for Reina in goal after the Spaniard was sent off for dangerous conduct in April 2012.

His final years at Anfield were hampered by injury, and left for Real Zaragoza, eventually retiring in his homeland in 2017. Enrique was diagnosed with Chordoma – a rare brain tumour – in 2018, however announced his recovery a year later, and last month announced he and his wife were expecting a child.

Midfielder – Jordan Henderson


Jordan Henderson needs little introduction, as he has grown from the 21-year-old prospect he was back then against Cardiff into one of the most exemplary captains in Reds history.

His leadership has been a vital asset to Klopp’s Liverpool, winning the club’s first Premier League title in 2020, shortly after UEFA Champions League number six, the Super Cup, and the Club World Cup in 2019.

Midfielder – Charlie Adam

Joining Liverpool at the same time as Henderson, it is safe to say Charlie Adam failed to make the same impact on Merseyside. After Kenny Dalglish’s exit later in 2012, he was rapidly shown the door by Rodgers and was moved on to Stoke.

There he notably scored that famous halfway line goal past Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, and after the Potters’ relegation from the top-flight he has featured for Reading, and most recently Dundee.

Midfielder – Steven Gerrard

You all know Steven Gerrard’s story. 710 appearances, 186 goals, 145 assists, captained the club to European glory, and literally has an FA Cup Final named after him – he is THE Liverpool legend.

What has happened since his 2016 retirement needs little explanation too, as he has transformed himself into one England’s hottest properties in management.

Last season he took Rangers to an unbeaten Scottish Premier League title, preventing deep rivals Celtic’s tenth-in-a-row, and since November has become manager of Aston Villa, and has brought former Reds teammate Phillipe Coutinho back to these shores.

Midfielder – Stewart Downing

Stewart Downing, like too many of Dalglish’s signings, arrived at Liverpool a promising young player, and left in underwhelming fashion.

He made 91 appearances for Liverpool, scoring only 7 goals, and was sold to West Ham for a huge loss two years later. The Englishman also played for boyhood club Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers, and announced his retirement last year having racked up 722 career appearances in club football.

Forward – Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll remains an active footballer, and last month sealed a move to Championship promotion hopefuls West Brom from strugglers Reading.

His career took quite the hit after his Anfield move, and he never truly recovered from becoming potentially the clubs’ worst signing in terms of value for money.

In all fairness, following up Fernando Torres’ as number nine was never going to be a simple task, although Carroll’s strike partner might have something to say about that…

Forward – Luis Suárez

A man who took Anfield by storm with his range of finishing and his ability to ‘chew up’ and spit out defenders, never has one man had the city of Norwich so terrified…

‘El Pistolero’ has gone onto achieve the most on the pitch of any member of this side, even if it meant breaking Liverpool hearts in 2014 to do so.

That was when he departed for Spain, and with Barcelona and Atlético Madrid since he has won five La Liga’s, four Copa del Rey’s, two Supercopa’s, one Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one Club World Cup, scoring a whopping 198 goals in 283 games in that time.

(Main image courtesy of: Sarah Skelton. Used under Creative Commons license)