Some retired footballers follow the path that leads to sponsorship deals, reality television or even the creation of their own clothing line. Some look for the peace and quiet that living abroad can offer them. Some go into the world of punditry.
Jerzy Dudek has, on the other hand, chosen to follow a very different path since retiring from football.
The former Liverpool goalkeeper now invests his time into motor racing.
Speaking to LFCTV series ‘Added Time’, Liverpoolfc.com quoted him as saying: “Motor racing was my passion before football. I raced go-karts but of course that stopped when I became a professional footballer. When I quit football I also missed the adrenaline you got from playing.”
“This is my hobby and my passion now. It’s too late for me to be a professional racing driver, so I know my level and I know how good I am and I always approach things with joy, with laughter and also focus because it has to be serious too.”
“It really is like a footballer’s life. You have the discipline, you have a mental coach and someone who’s analysing your performances…there are similarities between playing in goal and racing a car.”
Now, there’s a true sportsman for you. Someone who, even after retiring from professional football, can’t keep himself away from competitive sport of some kind.
We can imagine Jerzy driving with the same confidence and composure that he showed during the historic 2005 penalty shootout in the Champions League final against AC Milan.
Likewise, we sense the lightning quick reactions he produced in the same game to stop Andriy Shevchenko’s shot in extra-time, help him a great deal when it comes to racing. His imitation of Bruce Grobbelaar, though? Perhaps, not so much.
Seriously, what would a Jerzy Dudek story be without a least a couple of references to that night in Istanbul?