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Liverpool's Manchester United slayers of 2011 - Where are Kuyt, Suarez & Carragher now?

9:00 PM SGT 5/8/22
Kuyt Suarez Carragher Liverpool 2011 GFX
The day Dirk Kuyt wrote his name in Anfield folklore and Suarez proved he could nutmeg a mermaid

It stands as one of the rare high points of Liverpool's 2010-11 season, a campaign which started with promises of a bright new era under Roy Hodgson and finished with one of Liverpool's favourite sons back in the dugout.

Kenny Dalglish, as it happened, celebrated his 60th birthday a couple of days before his Reds side defeated Manchester United 3-1 on March 6, 2011. 

It was a game notable for Dirk Kuyt scoring the first hat-trick in the fixture since Peter Beardsley in 1990, and for a virtuoso performance from new Liverpool signing Luis Suarez, who tormented a United side which would, as tended to be the case in those days, end the season as Premier League champions.

Liverpool, by contrast, would finish sixth, 

Here, GOAL takes a look at what happened next for that 2011, United-slaying team…

  • Pepe Reina Liverpool

    GK: Pepe Reina

    Always a popular figure at Anfield, Reina made 394 appearances for Liverpool and his record of 177 clean sheets place him third on the club’s all-time list.

    A member of the Spain squad which dominated international football between 2008 and 2012, he left for Bayern Munich in 2014 having lost his place to Simon Mignolet and therefore spent the previous year on loan at Napoli. 

    He’s still playing now, joining Villarreal – the club he had initially left to sign for Liverpool in 2005 – after the expiry of his contract at Lazio. 

    Oh, and he also appeared, memorably, on Spain's version of The Masked Singer last year.

  • Glen Johnson Liverpool

    RB: Glen Johnson

    Signed by Rafa Benitez as “the missing piece” after Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title in 2008-09, Johnson instead became one of the few reliable presences in a side which swiftly declined.

    He eventually left Anfield for Stoke in 2015 having made exactly 200 appearances for the Reds. His career fizzled out as injuries hit him hard, and by the age of 33 he had played his last professional game.

    These days, he’s a regular on the UK media circuit.

  • Martin Skrtel Liverpool

    CB: Martin Skrtel

    Slovakian centre-back who made more than 320 appearances for Liverpool after joining from Zenit in 2008.

    Skrtel eventually left Anfield in 2016, moving to Fenerbahce. He later joined Atalanta and Istanbul Basaksehir, and was still playing until the end of last season with Spartak Trnava before he announced his retirement from the game due to injury issues.

  • Jamie Carragher Liverpool 2013

    CB: Jamie Carragher

    The ultimate one-club man, Carragher sits second on Liverpool’s all-time appearance list, having turned out 737 times for the Reds across a 17-year playing career.

    He retired in 2013 having won nine major honours, and while most expected him to pursue a career in coaching, he has instead established himself as one of the most insightful, passionate and popular media pundits around, forming a famous and unlikely partnership with Gary Neville on Sky Sports in the process.

  • Fabio Aurelio Liverpool

    LB: Fabio Aurelio

    A gifted but fragile left-back, Aurelio’s career was one of glorious moments but a lingering sense of what-might-have-been.

    He made 134 appearances across six years with the Reds, lighting the place up with famous goals against the likes of United and Chelsea, but missing too many games through injury.

    After leaving in 2012, he played for Gremio in his native Brazil, and he is still involved in the game as an agent, as well as appearing for Liverpool Legends.

  • Raul Meireles Liverpool 2010

    RW: Raul Meireles

    The Portuguese international, known for his tattoos and extravagant hairstyles, only spent one season at Anfield, but he left behind some decent memories, scoring memorable goals against the likes of Everton, Chelsea and Wolves.

    He left for Chelsea, where he was part of the squad which won the European Cup in 2012, and later won a Turkish league title with Fenerbahce before retiring from playing aged 33.

    More recently, he attracted attention when appearing on the Portuguese version of ‘Lip Sync Battle’ in 2019. The less said about that, the better.

  • Lucas Leiva Liverpool

    CM: Lucas Leiva

    Brazilian midfielder who overcame a tough start to become a fans’ favourite at Anfield, making nearly 350 appearances in the process.

    Lucas joined Liverpool from Gremio as a teenager in 2007, and this summer returned to his first club after five successful years with Lazio in Serie A.

  • Steven Gerrard Liverpool Everton Premier League 19012009

    CM: Steven Gerrard

    Arguably the greatest player Liverpool have ever had, Gerrard sits third in the club’s all-time appearance list, and fifth in terms of all-time leading goalscorers.

    In terms of memories and magical moments, there are too many to mention, but the outpouring of emotion and appreciation when he left the club in 2015 said it all. An Anfield legend, beyond all possible doubt.

    He finished his playing career with LA Galaxy before returning to Liverpool as U18s coach in 2017. He began his senior management career with Rangers a year later, winning the Scottish league title in 2021 before then taking over as Aston Villa manager. 

  • Maxi Rodriguez Liverpool 2010

    LW: Maxi Rodriguez

    Another whose time at Anfield was brief, but who is remembered fondly by supporters. The Argentine international was a clever player, and enjoyed something of a purple patch around the time of the Manchester United game, scoring hat-tricks against both Birmingham and Fulham.

    He left Liverpool when Brendan Rodgers arrived as manager in 2012, but he continued to play for almost a decade thereafter, enjoying a stint with Penarol in Uruguay either side of two spells with Newell’s Old Boys, where he had begun his career.

    His retirement in 2021, aged 40, saw him substituted to a standing ovation in a game against Banfield.

  • Dirk Kuyt Liverpool 2011

    ST: Dirk Kuyt

    The hero of the hour against United, Kuyt’s one-and-only hat-trick for Liverpool came, in his own words, “from a combined total of about three yards”, but still ensured his place in Anfield folklore.

    The Dutchman was always popular with supporters on account of his work-rate, selflessness and penchant for big goals.

    He left for Fenerbahce in 2012, where he would win a Turkish league title, and later returned to former club Feyenoord, where he claimed a Dutch championship in 2017.

    He has now embarked upon a coaching career, taking over as head coach of second-tier ADO Den Haag this summer.

  • Luis Suarez Liverpool

    ST: Luis Suarez

    A whirlwind which ripped through Liverpool, leaving just about everyone he met reeling.

    Suarez was a phenomenon on Merseyside, scoring 82 goals in 133 appearances after joining from Ajax on deadline day in January 2011, but attracted plenty of negative headlines too, clashing with Patrice Evra and Branislav Ivanovic, and at one point attempting to force a transfer to Arsenal.

    He eventually got his move in 2014, but to Barcelona, where he won the Champions League and formed one of the greatest forward lines of all time alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

    He later moved to Atletico Madrid and won a La Liga title, and this summer, aged 35, he made an emotional return to his first club, Nacional.

  • Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Braga vs Liverpool 03.10.2011

    Sub: Sotirios Kyrgiakos

    Pony-tailed Greek defender who made 49 appearances for the Reds, scoring three times.

    Kyrgiakos left for Wolfsburg in 2011 and later had a loan spell back in the Premier League with Sunderland before finishing his career in Australia with Sydney Olympic.

    He is no longer involved directly with football, but he spoke to GOAL in 2020, stating that he will forever be a Liverpool supporter.

    “To have played for such a big club like Liverpool is very important to me,” he said. “I can say it was something special in my career.”

  • Andy Carroll Liverpool

    Sub: Andy Carroll

    Liverpool’s record signing when joining from Newcastle on the same day as Suarez arrived in January 2011, Carroll never enjoyed the same level of success as his Uruguayan colleague.

    Still, he scored in both the FA Cup semi-final and final before leaving for West Ham. Injuries blighted him with the Hammers, and he was unable to rekindle his old form when returning to Newcastle in 2019. 

    He spent last season with Reading and West Brom before being released by the Baggies in the summer. As yet, he has not found a new club. 

  • Joe Cole Liverpool Premier League

    Sub: Joe Cole

    Heralded as a major coup when picked up on a free transfer from Chelsea in 2010, Cole’s time at Liverpool was pretty disastrous, truth be told. He was sent off on his Premier League debut and never really fitted into his new surroundings.

    He was loaned to Lille after one unsuccessful season, and was then allowed to join West Ham on a free midway through the 2012-13 campaign.

    He finished his playing career with stints at Coventry and Tampa Bay Rowdies, and had a spell back at Chelsea as a youth coach. He is a successful pundit with BT Sport presently.