With the FA Cup final this weekend and Chuba Akpom’s recent success, I thought I would take a look at the previous success English abroad have had in cup competitions across the world.
Chuba Akpom – PAOK
Starting with the man of the moment, the former Arsenal striker is having a season to remember. Having got a taste of playing abroad last year out on loan at Belgian side Sint-Truiden, the 23-year-old made the permanent move to Greek Super League side PAOK last summer and hasn’t looked back. Not only did he help his side secure their first Super League title in 34 years going unbeaten all season, they also completed a historic double by winning the Greek Cup. Akpom scored the only goal in the final last weekend to defeat AEK 1-0 and bring home a second trophy of the season. He scored two goals in the cup run to go with the six he scored in the league.
Owen Hargreaves – Bayern Munich
One of the most successful English abroad in cup competitions must be the Canadian-born former England international. The defensive midfielder had a trophy-laden spell in Bavaria, winning ten titles in all including a Champions League. Domestically he lifted three DFB Pokals (equivalent to the FA Cup) and also won the now defunct DFB-Ligapokal in 2000. The now BT Sport pundit saved some of his best goal scoring performances for the cup. In fact, he scored the same number of goals in 22 DFB Pokal appearances (5) as he did in 145 league appearances.
Tony Cottee & Chris Kiwomya – Selangor
After a long career in England with West Ham and Everton, former England international Cottee headed to Malaysia in 1996. Joining him on loan at the club the later in the season would be Arsenal forward Chris Kiwomya. The pair played for Selangor, who play at the impressive 80,000 seat Shah Alam Stadium.
The pair would combine to help Selangor win the Malaysia FA Cup with Kiwomya scoring the only goal in the final to secure a first ever major honour for Cottee. The closest the former West Ham forward had previous come to tasting success was as a losing finalist in the 1989 FA Cup from when he was with Everton.
Of course looking to go one further than Cottee this weekend and Manchester City and Watford. City are a prohibitive 1/5 favorite to beat Watford (10/1) in the FA Cup final according to My Top Sportsbooks list of sports sites. With the Premier League and EFL Cup in the bag and their Champions League run over, City’s focus will be 100% on the FA Cup, which they haven’t won since 2011.
Expect Saturday to play out much like the last four matches between the teams: City outscored the Hornets 5-2 in a pair of decisive wins in league play this year, and won their pair of games last year by a combined 9-1 margin. Considering that the Citizens have scored at least two goals in 10 straight against Watford, a 3-1 City win is our prediction.
Gary Lineker – Barcelona
By current Barcelona standards, the fact that the England legend only won two trophies during his three-year spell with the Catalan giants seems relatively unsuccessful. Lineker would have been especially disappointed to miss out on a La Liga title but he still achieved success on the domestic and European stage whilst in Spain.
In the forward’s second season with Barça, he helped his side life the national cup, the Copa del Rey for the 21st time. He played five games during the run, scoring twice. He started the final, held at their arch rival’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, playing the entire match as Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 1-0.
The following year, the former Everton forward would go on to lift a European Cup Winners’ Cup in his last season in Spain.
Lewis Baker – Vitesse
The Chelsea midfielder’s career probably hasn’t gone the way he would have liked since returning to England two years ago but his two seasons spent out on loan in Holland with Vitesse were very impressive. He scored 20 goals from midfield during that spell, 15 of those in his second season. Also during his second season, he was instrumental in guiding Vitesse to their first ever national cup title, known as the KNVB Cup. He scored five goals in six games in the cup and played the full match in the final as his side defeated AZ 2-0 to taste victory.
Curtis Edwards & Jamie Hopcutt – Östersunds FK
Hopcutt is a legend at Östersund having joined the club in 2012 and been part of their incredible rise from fourth-tier minnow to defeating Arsenal in the Europa League. Edwards joined in 2016 after a spell at Ytterhogdals, another Swedish lower-league side. Anyway, the pair confirmed their legendary status in 2017 when they helped their side to its first ever major honour. Edwards played a bigger part in the cup run, making six appearances including starting in the 4-1 final win over IFK Norrköping whereas Hopcutt was mostly saved for the league but did make a late appearance in the final. The victory was also a massive achievement for Graham Potter the then manager of Östersund and he has since gone on to take over at Swansea and is now linked to the Brighton job.