Jerzy Dudek (born March 23, 1973 in Rybnik, Poland) is a Polish
football player. He is currently playing as a goalkeeper for
Liverpool F.C. and has the squad number 1. For Poland, Dudek has
appeared 53 times.
Signed by Liverpool on August 31, 2001 as a replacement for
Sander Westerveld, Dudek also plays regularly for the Polish
national team. After suffering a stressful 2002 World Cup Dudek
was dropped from the Liverpool team after several bad
performances in the English Premier League (particularly the
howler against Manchester United on December 1, 2002) but since
regained his place in the team after Chris Kirkland suffered an
injury. Dudek finally lost his position as Liverpool's first-choice
keeper after the arrival of Jose Reina.
Prior to Liverpool, Dudek played for Concordia Knurów, Sokół
Tychy, and Feyenoord Rotterdam.
On 25 May 2005, Dudek became an instant hero in Liverpool after
a characteristically mercurial performance in the Champions
League final in Istanbul against A.C. Milan. Dudek made an
incredible double save in the dying minutes of extra-time to
prevent Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko from scoring a goal
which would almost certainly have been the match winner. Dudek
helped to win the trophy for Liverpool with two saves in the
penalty shoot-out. Prior to each of the Milan penalties, Dudek
performed a variety of movements (later called the Dudek Dance)
in an attempt to distract the penalty takers.
During the post-match interview, Dudek stated that his
flamboyant approach to the penalty shoot-out had been influenced
by Bruce Grobbelaar, a former Liverpool goalkeeper. Grobbelaar
was the hero of the 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over A.S. Roma
in the 1984 Champions League Final after provoking Francesco
Graziani to miss by wobbling his legs in mock fear.
Since that final, Dudek has been replaced in the first team by
Spanish keeper Pepe Reina due to an elbow injury but has since
played one game for the Reserves.
Dudek married his wife Mirella (b. December 1974) in June 1996,
and they have one son, Alexander, born in December of that year.