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Players to have faced their former club in a Champions League final

Jude Bellingham will encounter some familiar faces when he lines up against his former club Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final.

The midfield sensation departed Dortmund to join Real Madrid in a €103 million deal in the summer of 2023 but is remembered fondly on the terraces of the Westfalenstadion.

Bellingham is not the first player to oppose a former club in the Champions League final, with Edin Dzeko the most recent individual to face a previous employer in last year’s showpiece between Manchester City and Inter Milan.

We’ve delved into the archives and picked out a collection of players that have faced their former side on club football's grandest stage.

Champions League Final

Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City v Chelsea - 2021

All eyes were on Manchester City in their quest for a maiden European crown as they met Chelsea in an all-Premier League affair at Estádio do Dragão.

Kevin De Bruyne was crucial in the Citizens' progression to the final and he was desperate to prove a point against his former club, only for his night to be cut short after sustaining a fractured nose and left eye socket following a clash with Antonio Rudiger.

Chelsea prevailed in the contest courtesy of Kai Havertz's first half goal, adding a second Champions League title to the Blues' trophy haul.

Kingsley Coman
Bayern Munich v PSG - 2020

The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in the Champions League being suspended prior to the quarter-final fixtures and when they resumed in August, single-match knockout ties were played at neutral venues in Lisbon.

Not that the delay fazed Bayern Munich, who dismantled Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals before dispatching Lyon 3-0 in the last four.

Kingsley Coman's former club PSG awaited them in the final and the winger was the star of the show, scoring the match-winning goal as Bayern were crowned kings of Europe for a sixth time.

Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain & Alvaro Morata
Juventus v Real Madrid - 2017

In 2017 we saw not one, not two, but three players that were opposing their former side in the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid.

Juventus duo Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain made over 300 combined appearances for Real Madrid, while Alvaro Morata, who was substituted on in the dying embers of the contest, won four trophies across two years with the Old Lady.

Real Madrid were the victors, winning back-to-back Champions League titles by overwhelming Juventus in a crushing 4-1 triumph.

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - 2014 & 2016

If losing to your former club once in a Champions League final wasn't enough, try being Juanfran.

The Atletico Madrid right-back suffered the anguish of defeat to his former employers Real Madrid in 2014 and had to endure it all again two years later when Los Blancos got their hands on the title for an 11th time.

To make it even worse, Juanfran missed his spot-kick in the penalty shootout, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo to wrap up the win.

Mats Hummels
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich - 2013

Mats Hummels' career has been a revolving door of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

When the two encountered one another in the Champions League final at Wembley in 2013, Hummels was one of Europe's best central defenders.

But the night was to end in defeat for the Bayern academy graduate, with the balletic feet of Arjen Robben escaping Hummels' desperate lunge and slotting the ball beyond a stranded Roman Weidenfeller.

Arjen Robben
Bayern Munich v Chelsea - 2012

Robben got his hands on the Champions League crown in 2013 but it wasn't until after his penalty heartbreak against his former club Chelsea in the previous season.

The Netherlands winger was left distraught as his woeful spot-kick in extra-time ultimately cost Bayern Munich, with Roberto Di Matteo's Blues going on to defy the odds and lift their first European crown at the Allianz Arena.

Gerard Pique
Barcelona v Manchester United - 2009 & 2011

Unlike Juanfran, Gerard Pique opposed his ex side twice in a Champions League final and come out on top in both.

The centre back returned to his boyhood club Barcelona following a four-year stint with Manchester United and by the end of the season, he was reunited with his former colleagues in Rome.

Pep Guardiola's side became the first Spanish club to complete the treble that year and Pique was present again two years later as Barcelona defeated Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley to seal a second Champions League trophy in three years.

Inter v Bayern Munich - 2010

In a Champions League campaign that's remembered more for Jose Mourinho's antics in the semi-finals against Barcelona, the Portuguese tactician masterminded another unexpected triumph in Europe's elite club competition with Inter Milan.

A domineering figure in the heart of his Inter defence was Lucio, who was all too familiar with the Bayern Munich side they opposed in the final, having spent five years with the Bavarian outfit from 2004 to 2009.

Inter won the treble that season and Lucio was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Not a bad year at all.

Filippo Inzaghi
Milan v Juventus - 2003

Filippo Inzaghi suffered Champions League heartbreak with Juventus against Real Madrid in 1998 after Predrag Mijatović's controversial winner for Los Blancos in Amsterdam.

Five years later, Inzaghi reached his second Champions League final but on this occasion, he was donning the famous red and black of Milan.

His opponents at Old Trafford that night? His former club, the Old Lady.

In a contest where Italian defensive football prevailed and the tie went to penalties, Inzaghi's strike partner Andriy Shevchenko was the hero as he dispatched the winning spot-kick to give Milan a sixth European title.

Jurgen Kohler, Stefan Reuter, Paulo Sousa & Andreas Moller
Dortmund v Juventus - 1997

Borussia Dortmund and Juventus met in the 1997 Champions League final in Munich, which was a repeat of the 1993 UEFA Cup final where the Turin giants prevailed.

Two players for Juventus in that encounter - Jurgen Kohler and Andreas Moller - were now Dortmund players, along with Stefan Reuter and Paulo Sousa, who had also donned Juve's Bianconeri before the famous night in Munich for Die Borussen.

A quickfire brace from Karl-Heinz Riedle put Dortmund two goals ahead after 34 minutes, of which his second goal came from a Moller free-kick.

Moller was the architect again in the second half when he slipped Lars Ricken through one-on-one with Angelo Peruzzi, with the substitute scoring 16 seconds after coming off the pitch to give Dortmund their only Champions League title to date.

Frank Rijkaard
Ajax v Milan - 1995

One of seven Ajax academy graduates in the starting XI, the 1995 Champions League final was the last match of Frank Rijkaard's playing career and he bowed out in glorious fashion.

An Ajax club legend who had thrived with Milan before returning to Amsterdam in 1993, Rijkaard was the experienced head in Louis van Gaal's youthfully exuberant squad.

With the margins so tight, the Dutch outfit turned to a young Patrick Kluivert in search of a breakthrough. With 85 minutes on the clock, Rijkaard fed a pass into a gap where Kluivert loitered and the forward prodded home to secure Ajax the title in Vienna.

Other notable mentions:

Edin Dzeko - Inter Milan v Manchester City (2023)
Fabinho - Liverpool v Real Madrid (2022)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Sylvinho - Barcelona v Arsenal (2006)
Ivan Campo, Santiago Canizares and Luis Milla - Real Madrid v Valencia (2000)
Jean-Pierre Papin - Marseille v Milan (1993)

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