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Five who played for both – Chelsea and Middlesbrough

Chelsea host Middlesbrough in their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge this evening, with the West Londoners looking to overturn a first-leg deficit.

The two teams are one positive result away from Wembley, with Middlesbrough looking to become the first Football League team to reach the League Cup final in over a decade.

Ahead of the clash, we’ve remembered five players who represented both Chelsea and Middlesbrough in the Premier League era.

Geremi

Geremi became a fan favourite at Middlesbrough in 2002/03, with the combative Cameroon midfielder signed on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.

Geremi had won La Liga and two Champions League titles during his time at the Bernabeu, before moving to the Premier League in search of a regular role after falling out of favour.

His time with Middlesbrough saw Geremi score seven times in 34 league appearances to attract interest from Chelsea, fresh from Roman Abramovich’s takeover of the club.

The midfielder became one of the first additions to the Russian regime in 2003 and spent four seasons at Chelsea, winning back-to-back Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho in 2004/05 and 2005/06.

Geremi, who won Olympic Gold and two AFCON titles during a 118-cap career with Cameroon, returned to the North East to sign for Newcastle in 2007.

Jimmy Floyd Hassebaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s thunderous power struck fear into Premier League goalkeepers across the turn of the millennium, with the Dutch forward twice blasting his way to the Golden Boot.

Hasselbaink signed for Chelsea in a club-record £15m deal from Atletico Madrid in 2000 and ended his debut campaign as the Premier League’s leading scorer with 23 goals.

Hasselbaink hit 87 goals in 177 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions but was allowed to move on following the arrival of Didier Drogba from Marseille in 2004.

He moved to Middlesbrough and impressed across two seasons at the Riverside, forming an excellent partnership with Mark Viduka.

Hasselbaink scored 33 goals in 89 games for ‘Boro and formed part of the team that reached the UEFA Cup final under Steve McClaren in 2006.

Noughties Nines: Mr. Thunderbastard, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Boudewijn Zenden

Boudewijn Zenden’s long Premier League career took in spells at Chelsea and Middlesbrough, signing for the former from Barcelona in a £7.5m deal.

The Dutch midfielder struggled to establish himself at Chelsea due to fitness issues and was allowed to leave for Middlesbrough on loan two seasons later.

His debut campaign with ‘Boro saw the club win the League Cup, with Zenden scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot in the final win over Bolton at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Zenden signed for Middlesbrough on a permanent basis that summer but spent just one more season at the Riverside.

He was named Middlesbrough’s Player of the Season for 2004/05 after scoring eight goals in all competitions, before leaving at the expiration of his one-year contract to join Liverpool on a free transfer.

Mark Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer earned club legend status at Middlesbrough after making 445 appearances in more than a decade in the North East. The Australian shot-stopper helped ‘Boro back into the top division and was a reliable last line of defence as the club reestablished itself in the Premier League.

Schwarzer formed part of the team that won Middlesbrough’s first major trophy with League Cup success in 2004 and that reached the UEFA Cup decider two seasons later.

The goalkeeper was allowed to leave Middlesbrough in 2008, though the decision proved premature as Schwarzer played on for another eight seasons and racked up 218 games for Fulham, reaching another European final in 2010.

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He later spent two seasons at Chelsea in a backup role and made 12 appearances for the West Londoners between 2013 and 2015.

Schwarzer is the only non-British player to have made 500+ Premier League appearances and ranks third overall for clean sheets with 151.

John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel spent the bulk of his career in blue after signing for Chelsea as a teenager.

The Nigerian midfielder spent more than a decade with the West Londoners during the most successful era in Chelsea’s history, with his list of honours including two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and Europa League.

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Mikel played 372 times for Chelsea and also led Nigeria to Africa Cup of Nations success in 2013.

After leaving Chelsea, the midfielder spent two seasons in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger before a short return to English football at Middlesbrough. Mikel made 18 league appearances for ‘Boro during the 2018/19 campaign.

Read – Four free transfers thriving in Europe’s top five leagues this season

See more – Ranking the best centre-back partnerships in the Premier League right now

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