What happened to Leeds' Champions League semi-finalists of 2001?

 
 
Leeds team photo, Barcelona v Leeds 2000

Leeds United reached the Champions League semi-final in 2001, eventually being beaten by Valencia.

While there appears to be a feeling of optimism around Leeds at the moment that has not been bettered for a number of years, there is no question that there is still an incredibly long way to go before they hit the heights that they were at before their dramatic decline shortly after the turn of the Millennium.

Before the implosion, Leeds threatened to climb the summit of European football when they reached the 2001 Champions League semi-final. Unfortunately for David O'Leary's men, a goalless draw at Elland Road was followed by a 3-0 defeat to the La Liga side in the second-leg. 

But what became of the side that started that night 16 years ago in the Mestalla? Here HITC Sport has taken a look...

GK: Nigel Martyn

Nigel Martyn remained at Leeds for just two more years, leaving for Everton in 2003. He would stay with the Toffees until his retirement in 2006.

RB: Danny Mills

Danny Mills would leave for Manchester City in 2004. He finished his career on the Citizens' books, having previously spent some time on loan with the likes of Hull, Charlton and Derby.

Rio Ferdinand at Leeds UnitedRio Ferdinand

CB: Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand captained Leeds that night in the Mestalla. His brief spell at Elland Road would end in 2002 as he began a 12-year stay at Manchester United. His career ended with one season at QPR.

CB: Dominic Matteo

After leaving Leeds in 2004, Dominic Matteo spent three years with Blackburn before finishing his career with two years at Stoke.

LB: Ian Harte

Ian Harte took the surprising step of moving to Spanish side Levante in 2004. After brief spells with Sunderland and Blackpool, he would really revive his career with the likes of Carlisle and Reading before finishing at Bournemouth. 

Ian HarteIan Harte

RM: Eirik Bakke

Eirik Bakke threatened to be a special player for Leeds, but injuries really prevented the Norwegian realising his full potential. After a loan at Aston Villa, he returned to Brann before ending his career at first club Sogndal.

CM: Olivier Dacourt

Olivier Dacourt would leave Elland Road in 2003, joining Roma on a permanent basis after a loan spell. He went on to play for Inter Milan until 2009 - briefly returning to England for a loan spell at Fulham - joining Standard Liege and staying in Belgium until 2010. 

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesDavid Batty

CM: David Batty

David Batty retired from the game in 2004, having struggled with injuries for a couple of years previously. 

LM: Harry Kewell

Unlike Batty who will forever be considered a Whites hero, Harry Kewell is not fondly remembered by the Elland Road faithful. He left for Liverpool and subsequently joined Galatasaray in 2008 in a move that infuriated the Leeds fans given the history between the two clubs. After finishing his career in his native Australia, Kewell took over Watford's under-23 side and then became Crawley boss earlier this year.

VidukaMark Viduka

ST: Mark Viduka

Mark Viduka would leave Leeds in 2004, spending around three years with Middlesbrough. He finished his career with two seasons at Newcastle United.

ST: Alan Smith

Unlike Kewell, the bad feeling towards Alan Smith has seemed to soften over the years. Smith was at one stage, incredibly unpopular with fans for joining Manchester United in 2004 - though the move probably did cash-strapped Leeds a massive favour at the time. A horrific leg break arguably prevented him realising his potential, though he spent five years with Newcastle from 2007. The 36-year-old now plays for Notts County, having spent some time with MK Dons beforehand. 

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