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Jerzy Dudek
Jerzy Dudek.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 23 March 1973 (1973-03-23) (age 36)
Place of birth Rybnik, Poland
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1+12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Real Madrid
Number 13
Youth career
1985–1991 Górnik II Knurów
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Concordia Knurów 119 0(0)
1995–1996 Sokół Tychy 015 0(0)
1996–2001 Feyenoord 139 0(0)
2001–2007 Liverpool 126 0(0)
2007– Real Madrid 001 0(0)
National team
1998– Poland 059 0(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 November 2009.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2009

Jerzy "Jurek" Dudek (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjɛʐɨ ˈdudɛk]); born 23 March 1973 in Rybnik) is a Polish footballer who plays for Real Madrid in La Liga, as a goalkeeper.

After a truncated beginning in his country, he went on to have successful spells in Holland and England, winning the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005. He is his country's second-most capped goalkeeper with 59 caps.


Club career

Early years

Dudek began playing football at youth level at twelve for Górnik II Knurów. At sixteen, he made his debut in the oldest youth team of Górnik Knurów, before moving to Concordia Knurów in the Polish third division two years later. He set a goalkeeping record of 416 minutes in the third division without conceding a goal.

After four years at the club, he moved to Sokół Tychy, making his debut against Legia Warsaw. He only played fifteen games before moving to Holland.


Dudek left Poland in 1996 to join Feyenoord Rotterdam, but had to wait a year before he made his debut, then played 140 consecutive games for the club. He won his first trophy in 1998–99, along with the Dutch Super Cup later that year after defeating Ajax Amsterdam.

Dudek was named the Dutch Goalkeeper Of The Year, becoming the first foreign player to win the award, which he would retain the following season. He played his final game for Feyenoord on 26 August 2001, against Ajax.


Dudek joined Liverpool in late August 2001, and replaced Sander Westerveld as coach Gerard Houllier's first-choice between the sticks. Following a splendid season where his clean sheets and fine performances helped Liverpool finish second in the Premier League behind double-winners Arsenal, he was nominated alongside Oliver Kahn and Gianluigi Buffon for UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year at the end of the 2001–02 season.

Next season, Dudek rebounded spectacularly from a series of poor errors in the league to win the League Cup with a Man-of-the-Match performance against Manchester United in the final.[1][2] Pope John Paul II, who was a goalkeeper in his youth, met personally with Dudek in 2004, telling him that he was a fan of Dudek's and followed Liverpool whenever they played; the player presented the Pope with a souvenir goalkeeper shirt, and would later dedicate Liverpool's UEFA Champions League success to the late pontiff.[3]

Dudek was a catalyst in Liverpool's 2005 Champions League success, performing a double save against A.C. Milan's Andriy Shevchenko at the end of extra time in the final, after Liverpool had rallied from a 3–0 deficit to tie the match 3–3. He saved from Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko in the ensuing penalty shootout, which Liverpool won 3-2. During the shootout, he attempted to distract the Milan players with the "spaghetti legs" tactic that was used by former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar in the 1984 European Cup Final. Being European Cup winners for the fifth time, Liverpool kept the trophy and received the UEFA badge of honour, and as a tribute to Dudek's heroics, a group of Liverpool fans, the Trophy Boyz, recorded a successful novelty single called 'Du the Dudek'. He became the third Polish footballer after Zbigniew Boniek (with Juventus) and fellow goalkeeper Józef Młynarczyk (F.C. Porto) to win the Champions' League.

He received his second UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year nomination, but lost his starting position to new acquisition José Manuel Reina the next season, following an arm injury. Dudek made a total of twelve more appearances over the next two seasons before departing to Real Madrid at the end of the 2006–07 season. Despite courting controversy by accusing manager Rafael Benítez of 'treating him like a slave', Dudek insisted that he had no ill feelings towards the club or anyone associated with it and only wanted to leave after failing to make Poland's World Cup squad, but still stayed on for another year at the manager's request.[4] For these and several other reasons he is still regarded with esteem among Liverpool fans, who voted him in at a creditable No.36 in the list of 100 Players Who Shook the Kop.[5][6]

Real Madrid

Dudek moved to Real Madrid for 2007–08, but only amassed one league match in two years, due to the presence of Iker Casillas. Nevertheless, his attitude and work ethic earned praise from his fans, teammates, coaching staff and several Spanish journalists; his Man of the Match performance in his debut, in the penultimate game of the season against Real Zaragoza was hailed in the Spanish press, despite not being enough to earn selection for Poland's squad for Euro 2008.[7]

In Juande Ramos's first game as Madrid manager, in December 2008, Dudek was handed a rare start in a 3–0 home win against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, as the club was already qualified from the Champions League group stages. In a match where Madrid's attacking play made headlines, Dudek made several fine saves and exuded an air of calm solidity and confidence, particularly on crosses, earning a clean sheet in the process. This performance earned glowing praise from Ramos, who highlighted the Polish goalkeeper's qualities and referred to him as a 'magnificent player'.[8] It would be his last appearance of the season, which also saw a 0–5 aggregate loss against former club Liverpool, in the round of 16.

Speculation was rife about Dudek's dissatisfaction with life at Real, and a possible end-of-season return to Feyenoord where he would work more closely with then Poland coach Leo Beenhakker, who interestingly enough coached Dudek in his first spell at Feyenoord and also capped him twice for Poland. Other reports had indicated his willingness to return to the Premier League, with a few offers coming his way. However nothing was materialised, and with former teammate Jordi Codina leaving to join Getafe CF, the 36-year old eventually accepted a new one-year deal to remain at the club, while also speaking about his contentment.[9]

On 27 October 2009, Dudek saw his first action of the season in the first round of the Copa Del Rey, in a 0–4 shock loss to minnows AD Alcorcón, from the third division in Spanish football, with the goalkeeper being one of the few on the losing end to perform well.[10][11][12] He also appeared in the second leg, an insufficient 1–0 home win. Last season he had also been at the wrong end of a disappointing exit to Real Union at the same stage of the tournament and it is now unlikely that he will play again this season. With the club yet again suffering an ignominious early exit from the knockout stages of the Champions' League, this looks to be Dudek's final season at the Bernabeu.

International career

Dudek received his first call-up for Poland in 1996 as an unused substitute during a friendly against Russia in Moscow, and won his first cap in February 1998 in a friendly against Israel. He also captained the team once in a friendly against Estonia.

Dudek played nine of the team's ten 2002 World Cup qualifiers as Poland finished top of their group, and started in the finals, in an eventual group stage exit. He also played in seven of his country's ten qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but owing to a lack of appearances at club level in 2005–06, he was dropped from the starting lineup in favor of Artur Boruc and left off the final squad as a result, at which point he had earned 56 caps.

Dudek's omission from the 2006 World Cup squad was greeted with shock among Polish fans and the national media, with one newspaper's headline reading 'Has (then Poland coach Pawel) Janas gone mad?!'. And during a warm-up match against Colombia, where both Boruc and Tomasz Kuszczak were at fault for each of the goals in a 2–1 defeat, the angered Polish fans started to chant Dudek's name as a reminder of what they perceived as a mistake by Janas to drop him. It is worth noting that Kuszczak's goal, which prompted the chants, was directly from a goal-kick from the Colombian goalkeeper Neco Martínez.[13]

Following the World Cup, Dudek returned to the national team to play in two internationals under Leo Beenhakker, a 2–0 friendly defeat to Denmark and an Euro 2008 qualifying defeat (3–1) to Finland, before being dropped yet again. Despite a period of three years in the wilderness Dudek had always believed that he would return to the national team, and in September 2009 he was called up to the squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Slovakia by interim manager Stefan Majewski: after being on the bench for the first match in Prague, which saw Poland's slim World Cup hopes shattered, Dudek won his 59th cap against Slovakia on 14 October 2009, in Poland's final competitive game before Euro 2012. In a match which was played in heavy snow and in front of a near-empty stadium in Chorzow, he was denied a clean sheet by a Seweryn Gancarczyk own-goal, as Poland lost 1–0.

Dudek was not called-up to the squad for the matches against Romania and Canada and the 2010 King's Cup by new coach Franciszek Smuda, but remains confident that he is still in the picture.

Ambassador for Euro 2012

Dudek's status as an icon in Poland played a crucial role in securing the status of joint host nation for the Euro 2012 for his country. Along with his Champions' League nemesis Shevchenko of the Ukraine, he was a part of the joint delegation and was involved in a presentation with the striker.

Personal life & trivia

Dudek and his wife, Mirella, have one son, Aleksander, and two daughters, Wiktoria and Natalia. His father was a miner and he has spoken of himself having taken training to follow in his father's footsteps before his opportunity to play football came along. His brother, Dariusz, is also a footballer. Dudek also stated that he would like to start a football academy in Poland with his brother after retiring from football.[14]

Dudek refused to wear the '13' jersey for two seasons after arriving at Real Madrid, stating that Polish goalkeepers generally do not use 13; the numbers 1, 12 and 22 are traditionally used. He therefore wore '25' as it was the next best thing while Codina wore '13' until his departure.[15][16] In his first season at Liverpool he wore the '12' jersey because Westerveld was still in possession of the '1' squad number.

In 2005, he received the title of the honourable citizen of Knurów, during a charity match called "Jerzy Dudek & Friends." He also made his Polish television debut as an analyst for the 2005 UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and CSKA Moscow, which he missed due to injury.

In 2006, while on vacation in Poland following his omission from his country's World Cup squad, Dudek's home on the Wirral Peninsula was burgled and several valuables and treasured football memorabilia were stolen. Thanks to the efforts of the Merseyside Police Department his collection of shirts, medals and awards was recovered, along with most of his valuables.




Real Madrid


  • Dutch Golden Shoe Winner (as first expatriate): 1999–2000
  • Dutch Goalkeeper of the Year: 1998–99, 1999–2000
  • Polish Footballer of the Year: 1999–2000

Club statistics

As of 12 December 2009

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Poland League Polish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995-96 GKS Tychy Ekstraklasa 15 0 - - - 15 0
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1996-97 Feyenoord Eredivisie 0 0 - - - 0 0
1997-98 34 0 - - 2 0 36 0
1998-99 34 0 - - - 34 0
1999-00 34 0 - - 6 0 40 0
2000-01 34 0 - - 8 0 42 0
2001-02 3 0 - - - 3 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2001-02 Liverpool Premier League 35 0 2 0 0 0 12 0 49 0
2002-03 30 0 2 0 2 0 11 0 45 0
2003-04 30 0 3 0 1 0 4 0 38 0
2004-05 24 0 1 0 6 0 10 0 41 0
2005-06 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
2006-07 2 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 6 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2007–08 Real Madrid La Liga 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2008–09 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
2009–10 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total Poland 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
Netherlands 139 0 0 0 10 0 16 0 155 0
England 127 0 9 0 11 0 38 0 184 0
Spain 1 0 8 0 0 0 1 0 10 0
Career Total 282 0 17 0 11 0 55 0 365 0


  1. ^ "Liverpool lift Worthington Cup". BBC Sport. 3 March 2003. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  2. ^ McNulty, Phil (3 March 2003). "Dudek's day of deliverance". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Lowe, Sid (28 March 2008). "Small Talk: Jerzy Dudek". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Dudek: I have 40,000 goodbyes to say". 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  5. ^ "100 PWSTK - The definitive list". 8 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  6. ^ "100 PWSTK - No.36: Jerzy Dudek". 15 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  7. ^ J. O'Connell, Michael (12 May 2008). "Dudek's Goal: Euro 2008". Real Madrid. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  8. ^ J. O'Connell, Michael (10 December 2008). "Juande post-match presser". Real Madrid. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  9. ^ Cristobal, Carlos (19 July 2009). "I am happy in Madrid". Real Madrid. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  10. ^ El ridículo del Madrid en Alcorcón, 1 por 1 (Real Madrid's travesty in Alcorcón, 1 by 1) (Spanish)
  11. ^ Lowe, Sid (27 October 2009). "Real Madrid thrashed by lowly Alcorcón in Copa del Rey". Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  12. ^ Lowe, Sid (28 October 2009). "Manuel Pellegrini is on the ropes after Real Madrid's greatest humiliation". Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  13. ^ Harasimowicz, Martin (31 May 2006). "Kuszczak defiant despite blunder". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Goltz, Matthew (4 May 2008). "Jerzy Dudek". Real Madrid. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  15. ^ "Jerzy Dudek". Real Madrid. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "Definitive shirt numbers". Real Madrid. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 

External links

Simple English

Jerzy Dudek
Personal information
Full name Jerzy Dudek
Date of birth 23 March 1973 (1973-03-23) (age 37)
Place of birth    Rybnik, Poland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Real Madrid
Number 13
Senior clubs
Years Club
Concordia Knurów
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Real Madrid
National team
1998-2009 Poland

Jerzy Dudek (born 23 March 1973) is a Polish football player. He plays for Real Madrid.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
PolandLeague Polish Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
1996/97Feyenoord RotterdamEredivisie00---00
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2001/02LiverpoolPremier League3502000120490
SpainLeague Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga EuropeTotal
2007/08Real MadridLa Liga1040000050
CountryPoland 150---150
Netherlands 1390--1601550
England 1260901103801840
Spain 1060001080
Total 28101501105503620

International career statistics


Poland national team


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