Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet grateful for support from Istanbul hero Jerzy Dudek

17 May

Simon Mignolet has no desire to be Liverpool’s hero in the Europa League final despite earning praise from former Reds goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.


The Merseysiders will be aiming to secure a first European triumph since their famous Champions League win over AC Milan in 2005 where, after coming back from 3-0 down, Dudek was the star in the penalty shoot-out.

The former Poland international, who replicated Bruce Grobbelaar’s ‘spaghetti legs’ for the penalties, stopped efforts from Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko having also denied the Ukrainian with a memorable double-save in extra time.

Dudek last week hailed the current Liverpool goalkeeper but Mignolet wants to avoid the spotlight in Basle against defending champions Sevilla on Wednesday.

He said: “I know Dudek spoke well about me. I want to thank him for that as he was one of my heroes when I was younger because of what he did in that Champions League final.

“One thing I’d like to make clear is that I don’t want to be a hero in the final, I don’t think it’s important for any individual to do that.

“Of course people will decide games like any other but what is most important to me is that we win the final. It doesn’t matter in what kind of way.

“Winning the final is all important. Being the hero doesn’t make any difference to me.

“It can go to extra time and penalties and then of course I would get the chance to help the team and be decisive but hopefully we can win it inside 90 minutes.”

Mignolet watched Dudek’s 2005 heroics in the garden of the family home and they have stuck with him ever since.

If it does come down to penalties, however, there will be no antics from the straight-laced Belgian.

“Dudek didn’t only make great saves in the shoot-out but he made a few before that,” he added.

“The final could have been finished before penalties but for his double save from Shevchenko and then he put the strikers off in the shoot-out and delivered for his team.

“I’ve seen what Grobbelaar did against Roma too but I don’t think I’ve got the shaky legs!

“There is so much pressure on the penalty taker so I suppose anything that puts him off will help.”

READ MORE: Jerzy Dudek – Having ‘passionate and enthusiastic’ Jurgen Klopp as manager is a big advantage for Liverpool

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