Former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek says Andriy Shevchenko still couldn’t get over one of the key moments of the famous 2005 Champions League final years later.
The Reds famously battled back from 3-0 down to AC Milan to win the Istanbul final on penalties 15 years ago on Monday, with Dudek’s stop from Shevchenko in the shootout sealing victory.
But it was another save that the Pole made from the Ukrainian that proved just as crucial in the dying moments of extra-time, when the goalkeeper first kept out Shevchenko’s header and then reacted instantly to block the follow-up from point-blank range.
Dudek says he discussed the moment with Shevchenko a couple of years later, and the forward was still shocked that he hadn’t scored.
“We had got to know each other quite well during the campaign, and that day Sheva finally popped the question.
“‘F***ing hell Jerzy, you can tell me now – how DID you make that save in extra-time?’
“I smiled at him. ‘Don’t worry, mate,’ I told him. ‘You had your five minutes against Juventus in 2003, and I had my five minutes in Istanbul!’”
Dudek went on to describe the moment as a blur.
“The truth is, I can’t explain how I saved it,” he continued.
“It is one of those split-second things, where you rely on instinct, reflexes and, of course, a little bit of luck as well.
“Do you know, for a long time after the final I thought that the initial header was from Jon Dahl Tomasson? I knew there had been two Milan players free in the box, but after that it was just a blur.
“When I watched it back, I saw that Sheva had headed the first ball and then the rebound, and I think that was what gave me the chance to save it.
“He wanted to put all the power into it, and I was able just to get my hands in the way.
“I never saw a ball fly so high in the air, and when it landed on the roof of the net, I said to myself, ‘F*** me, we needed that!’”