Rotherham’s Champions League players

When Darren Potter signed for Rotherham he became the latest player with Champions League experience to join the club.

For a small-town side who have historically been in the bottom two tiers for much of their history the Millers have had an impressive amount of players who have played in Europe’s elite club competition.

Here is a look at the players who pulled on a Millers shirt after tasting Champions League football.

Scott Minto

The left-back had Chelsea, Benfica and West Ham on his CV before joining Rotherham in 2003. Minto, who played in the UEFA Cup for Chelsea, featured in the Champions League for premier Portuguese side Benfica. He made the move to South Yorkshire with Ronnie Moore’s side in the second tier and stayed three years before retiring in 2006 and moving into the media.

 

Jody Morris

Morris also made his name in the game at Chelsea and was good enough to get regular action during the club’s transition into a European giant in the mid-late 1990s. He made 11 appearances in the 1999-00 Champions League campaign where the Blues made it from the qualifying rounds to the semi-final, before going out to Barcelona. He joined the Millers for the latter part of the 2003-04 season where he helped them to Championship survival during his 10-game stint.

Paolo Vernazza

Vernazza made his debut at Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 1997 and had a bright future predicted for him. He was given 90 minutes of action in the 1998-99 Champions League campaign as Arsene Wenger’s men won a group stage clash in Panathinaikos. But the Islington-born midfielder failed to make the grade at Highbury and went to Watford where his career stalled after he was stabbed in the leg during a break-in. He joined the Millers in the summer of 2004 and made 30 appearances in arguably the worst ever season in the club’s history after which he left.

Mark Lynch

Lynch joined the Millers in 2008 when the club were in dire straits and playing at Don Valley and that was a far cry from the beginning of his career. The right-back began at Manchester United and his only appearance for the Red Devils was in a group-stage game in the 2002-03 Champions League campaign. It came in a 2-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna and it was a night to forget as Lynch scored an own goal. Lynch had spells at Yeovil and Hull before coming to the Millers where he spent two seasons.

Mark Randall

Coming through the ranks at Arsenal, Randall was tipped for big things after making his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in 2006. That never really came to fruition, despite several first-team outings over the course of several seasons, including two in the 2008-09 Champions League campaign. The midfielder came off the bench in a 2-0 win over FC Twente and repeated the trick in a 2-0 loss at Porto. He came to Rotherham on loan in 2009-10 but was heavily criticised by boss Ronnie Moore for his attitude and failed to make an impact.

Daniel Nardiello

Nardiello is another player who began his career at Old Trafford, making his debut at 19. He only made four appearances for the Red Devils, but one of those was in the 2002-03 Champions League as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were beaten 3-0 by Maccabi Haifa – a game where Lynch was on the bench. After a nomadic spell following his United exit, he ended up at Rotherham in 2012 and his goals fired them to League Two promotion in 2012-13. He was the club’s top scorer in League One when he left for Bury in November 2013.

 

Matt Derbyshire

Derbyshire came through the ranks at Blackburn and scored nine goals in a Premier League campaign as a 20-year-old. However, he never quite managed to hit the heights at Ewood Park, but still commanded a £3million fee in 2009 when he joined Greek side Olympiacos following a loan spell. It was in the 2009-10 campaign where he featured in the Champions League, playing in both legs of the last-16 tie with Bordeaux. But it was bad time for the striker as he was sent off in the second leg for two yellow cards, with the French side progressing. He left Rotherham for Omonia in Cyprus last summer.

Kirk Broadfoot

Broadfoot made his debut for Scottish giants Ibrox in the Champions League following a 2007 move from St Mirren, featuring in the qualifying rounds against Seta and Crvena Zvezda. The Gers were knocked out but went on to reach the UEFA Cup final in Manchester where Broadfoot played. There were more appearances three seasons later as the Ibrox side did make the group stages in 2010-11, where the defender played four times, including both games against Manchester United. Broadfoot left Rangers in 2012, crossing the border to England where after a two-year spell at Blackpool he ended up with the Millers in 2014.

Scott Wootton

Another product of the Old Trafford youth system, two of Wootton’s four Manchester United appearances came in the Champions League in the 2012-13 campaign. The defender played in both group stage fixtures against Romanian side CFR Cluj, starting the home encounter, which United lost 1-0, and coming on as a substitute in the away leg. He left for Leeds at the end of that season, where he currently remains, despite a six-week stay with the Millers in 2014.

Zeki Fryers

Having come through the ranks at Manchester United, Fryers’ third appearance for the Red Devils was in the Champions League, aged 19. The left-back came on as an 89th-minute substitute for Jonny Evans in a 2-0 home win against Otelul Galati in 2011. He only pulled on the famous red shirt three more times after that and joined Spurs in 2013, before costing Crystal Palace a reported £5million on transfer deadline day in August. He came to the Millers in January 2015 but struggled to impress.

 

Emi Martinez

The Argentinian, the third to play for the Millers in recent seasons, has the most recent experience of Champions League football having represented Arsenal in 2014-15’s competition. Martinez played twice for the Gunners in the group stage, in the 2-1 win at Anderlecht and the 2-0 home success over Borussia Dortmund. He joined Rotherham on loan until the end of the season in 2015.

Chris Burke

The Scottish winger came through the ranks at Old Firm giants Rangers and that gave him the chance of Champions League football early in his career. He was just 19 when he played against Manchester United in the 2003-04 group stages and went on to make a further eight appearances of the course of two seasons. He left Ibrox to head to England where he had spells at Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Forest. It was his time at the City Ground where he had a loan move to Rotherham, making five appearances and scoring twice in 2016.

Kelvin Wilson

Wilson made his name on the other side at Nottingham Forest and his form earned him a move to Celtic. That is where he got the opportunity to grace the Champions League, playing 12 times in two seasons, including the famous 2-1 win over Barcelona in 2012. He returned to Forest in 2013 in a £2.5million move where he was released after three years, allowing him to join Rotherham on a one-year deal but barely got a look in.

Peter Odemwingie

The striker made his name at Lille where he had two years of Champions League experience. He played five times in the 2005-06 campaign and repeated the trick the following year, making eight appearances, including two goals, as the French club made it to the round of 16. That form earned him a move to Lokomotiv Moscow, who then sold him to West Brom. He joined Rotherham for an ill-fated spell last year.

Darren Potter

Coming through the ranks at his hometown club, Potter made more Champions League appearances for Liverpool than he did Premier League. He made his debut in the 2004-05 qualifying round win over Graz AK in the season the Reds lifted the trophy with a group game appearance against Bayer Leverkusen. He made six more appearances the following year again in qualification and the group stage. The midfielder left for Wolves soon after and has taken in spells at Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

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