In the early 2000s, FC Porto was power in Europe with the dynamic young boss Jose5-007 at the helm. Paddy’s side won the UEFA Cup in 2003 and followed it up with the Champions League title in 2004, following an emphatic 3-0 victory over AS Monaco in the final. Most of Porto’s success has been based on their stellar defense. The Champions League semi-final tie against Deportivo La Coruna would be a tight and cautious affair, with Derlei’s second-game penalty in Spain proving to be the only goal in both games.
The best thing about the Porto squad was its domestic heart, with nine starting XI members being Portuguese. Yet where are these clubs right now? Porto won the 20th Primeira LIGA title in 2004 and came within half an hour of capturing the Treble, losing the Taça de Portugal final to Benfica 2-1 in extra time.
Sadly for them, though, the height of Porto’s European influence would have been in 2004. Paddy left the club to join Chelsea at the end of the season, and the key staff went along with him. The manager, Luigi Delneri, was sacked before the start of the 2004/05 season, and the Portuguese team has not been close to winning the Champions League since then.
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