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Jerzy Dudek: The games that changed my life

Interview:Martin Harasimowicz

November 26, 1997: Feyenoord 2 Juventus 0

I’d just started my Feyenoord career so didn’t have much experience, and we’d lost 5-1 away [in the group stage] against a great Juventus team that included Zinedine Zidane. No one gave us a chance but I redeemed myself in Rotterdam, making a few saves, and we won. It was a sign of great things to come for me in the Champions League.

February 23, 2000: France 1 Poland 0

One of my first games for Poland. We played the world champions, but only lost unluckily at the end from Zidane’s free-kick and a ricochet. I had a good game and Arsene Wenger came up to me afterwards and congratulated me. After that Arsenal offered £10 million for me, but Feyenoord said no and six months later sold me to Liverpool. My career could have been very different!

May 25, 2005: Milan 3 Liverpool 3 (2-3pens)

Probably one of the most unbelievable games in the history of sport – a lesson of faith, courage and never giving up. In the first half of that Champions League final they killed us, but then at half-time Liverpool fans started singing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Steven Gerrard brought us together and said: "Do you hear that, lads? Now let’s go out there and give it our best." And we did. That game in a sense made us all immortal.

May 11, 2008: Zaragoza 2 Real Madrid 2

I was backup for Iker Casillas at Real. We’d already won the league, so I got to play at Zaragoza. They had to win to stay up, but I hadn’t played too often and didn’t want to lose. In the second half I was in a trance and made some great saves. Their players were saying: "What are you doing? Have mercy!" The Zaragoza fans are still upset about it...

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