Jerzy Dudek, Liverpool hero in Istanbul 2005

Jerzy Dudek is not the best goalkeeper in Liverpool’s history but his name will be eternal as Liverpool’s success story of the 2005 Champions League winners is passed on from generation to generation.

Dudek came to Liverpool at the age of 28 years after his work with Feyenoord was considered quite promising. As Liverpool goalkeeper, Dudek’s biggest role will certainly be directed to the 2005 Champions League final when Liverpool face Milan.

In the first half, Dudek had to be willing to be a prisoner because the goal was broken into three times by the Rossoneri. Dudek had to collect the ball from the net when the match had been running for 59 seconds. Maldini volley was successfully touched by Dudek but not enough to stem the ball into the goal.

After a quick goal from Maldini, Dudek was twice broken into by Hernan Crespo. Crespo’s second goal really embarrassed Dudek because Crespo tricked him through a low effort.

Behind 0-3, Liverpool really are on the edge. But Liverpool’s confidence that has not faded come to bring a miracle in Istanbul.

Dudek also had a role in the revival. One of them when stemming Andriy Shevchenko’s free kick before replies from Steven Gerrard and Vladimir Smicer occurred.

When Liverpool finally got a penalty that was completed by Xabi Alonso, despite Dida’s earlier dismissal, Dudek finally tried really hard so that the struggles of players on the front lines to equalize the score to 3-3 were not in vain in his hands.

Dudek’s greatness continued in extra time. AC Milan are more often pressed to get a golden opportunity to score goals through Shevchenko. Dudek managed to make two brilliant rescue.

First when dismissing Shevchenko’s header and then the second is stemming a wild ball that Shevchenko kicked from close range.

Dudek’s greatness reached its peak in the shootout. Dudek’s style of trying to confuse the concentration of Milan’s players by twisting their bodies when preparing to receive a penalty kick proved successful.

Serginho and Andrea Pirlo lost the mental match against Dudek. Serginho’s kick bounced away while Pirlo’s execution was cleared by Dudek.

Milan tried to get up and Dida was able to thwart the execution of John Arne Riise. But then Dudek finished Milan’s resistance in the fifth executor.

Shevchenko, who appeared to have lost confidence against Dudek because he failed to score in 120 minutes of the match, was completely helpless. Shevchenko takes a weak shot towards the middle. Although Dudek had guessed the wrong direction of the ball but he could stretch his arms to block the ball.

Dudek shouted and other Liverpool players immediately scattered happily chasing the Polish goalkeeper.

Liverpool won the fifth Champions League trophy in their history. The name Dudek was eternal as one of the heroes of Liverpool’s victory.

In a poll, Dudek’s two consecutive saves for Shevchenko’s attack were chosen as the best moment, winning against Zinedine Zidane’s volley in the 2002 final and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury time goal in the 1999 final.

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