Newcastle United: Where are the last XI to play in Europe

Newcastle look like they will be playing European football next season for the first time in over a decade. We take a look at the XI who played in Newcastle’s last European match in the 1-1 draw against Benfica in 2013 and where they are today.

Tim Krul – Norwich City

Krul was only 17 when he moved to Newcastle from the Netherlands in 2005. After proving himself while on loan to Falkirk and Carlisle, Krul slowly became Newcastle’s number-one keeper for the 2012/13 season under Alan Pardew.

Krul quickly fell out of favour at St. James Park and was shipped off to Ajax on loan when Rafa Benitez was appointed manager. Karl Darlow became the new regular between the sticks under Benitez who helped the club win the Championship in 2017.

Krul is now at Norwich, where he has been since 2018, and has made over 150 appearances for the Canaries.

Massadio Haïdara – Lens

Haidara only played eight times during the 2012/13 season, half of those appearances came in the Europa League.

The season after Haidara would only play 13 times in the entire season. The Mail-international would leave Newcastle when his contract expired in the summer of 2018 for Ligue 2 side Lens.

 Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – unattached

There was quite the excitement building around St.James when it was announced Newcastle was set to sign a promising France international for just £6.7million.

Yanga-Mbiwa showed glimpses of his quality but he never quite reached his potential the way fans hoped.

After just two seasons he would leave for Roma and then Lyon. Since 2020 the Frenchman is yet to have played professional football.

Mike Williamson – Gateshead

Williamson still plays in Tyneside just not for Newcastle. Since 2018, Williamson has been the player-manager of National League side Gateshead. 

The former Newcastle United defender won the National League North last season and could potentially help guide Gateshead to another trophy if they overcome Halifax in the F.A Trophy final next week.

Danny Simpson – unattached

The boy from Salford traded in his Manchester United shirt for a black and white one in 2010, following a fairly successful loan spell with the club.

Simpson played over 100 times for Newcastle but left after the 2012/13 season following being knocked out of the Europa League and finishing 16th in the league.

Simpson would win the Championship play-offs the following season with QPR and would even get a Premier League winners medal with Leicester in 2016.

Gaël Bigirimana – Young Africans

Bigirimana may only be 29 but he can definitely be described as a journeyman. 

The Burundi-born midfielder has played in: the lower leagues of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and now for Tanzanian side Young Africans Sports Club.

Vurnon Anita – RKC Waalwijk

Anita was the only signing for Newcastle in the summer transfer window in 2012. It turned out you can’t get away with not reinforcing a team in the summer and Mike Ashley would have to finance six signings in January.

 The dutch-international would return to the Netherlands in 2020 to play for RKC Waalwijk for more first-team football.

Jonás Gutiérrez – retired 

The former Argentina star left Newcastle after he scored the iconic goal to keep the Toon up in 2015 against West Ham.

Gutierrez became one of the most loved figures at Newcastle, showing on and off the pitch the true meaning of survival.

After being released the following season, Gutierrez played in his home country for a few years before retiring in 2021.

Moussa Sissoko – Nantes

It cost Tottenham £30million for Sissoko’s services in 2016, making him the second most expensive departure from Newcastle after Andy Carrol’s £35million move to Liverpool in 2011.

Sissoko became unpopular with some Newcastle fans after forcing his way out of the club following the Magpie’s relegation. He spent five years with Spurs after his £30m sale before a stint at Watford.

Sissoko returned to France to play with Nantes at the start of the season, where he has made 26 appearances so far.

Yohan Cabaye – retired

Cabaye was adored by the Newcastle faithful. He was the star in Pardew’s midfield and produced moments that other players could only dream of.
There’s a reason why Premier League giants like Arsenal came calling for the Frenchman’s services. Instead, Paris would be where Cabaye would call home in 2014 when he joined PSG for £19million.

Cabaye’s time at PSG only lasted one season and he would return to the Premier League with Crystal Palace. Stints at Al-nassr and St Etienne followed before he hung his boots up in 2020.


Papiss Cissé – Amiens

Cisse is the last player to score in a continental competition when he netted past Benfica in a game that would end 1-1.

Cisse was the second top-goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 22 goals for Freiburg. The following season Newcastle snatched up the striker for £9.2million and paired him in an iconic partnership with fellow Senegalese international Demba Ba. During the 2012/13 season, the Senegalese partnership scored 26 goals in all competitions.

Cisse would go on to play in Turkey for a while before joining Amiens last summer.