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  • David Tyrer

Jerzy considered 'punching Benitez in the face' to get move away

Well here's a new one for the books. The normally placid and affable Jerzy Dudek apparently once gave serious thought to punching Rafa Benitez in the face to earn a move.

Apparently, during his time at the club following the Champions League victory, after we'd signed Pepe Reina, Dudek was frustrated with his place on the bench.

Not least of all because he was, obviously, desperate to be Poland's number one at the World Cup. He was barely playing and Rafa wouldn't even consider a loan move in case Reina suffered an injury.

Via FourFourTwo, Dudek told the story: "Pepe was a great guy, but Rafa had signed a new goalkeeper at a moment when I felt like I was at the peak of my career.

"I told Rafa that the World Cup was on the horizon and I needed to be playing football. Köln were interested, but a few days before the window closed, they called and said, ‘Why is Rafa not even talking to us?’ I was surprised – I thought everything had been agreed."

Dudek, of course, was the hero of Istanbul and was probably rightly frustrated to only be playing second fiddle at, what he clearly felt, was the peak of his goalkeeping powers.

He continued: "The next day, I stormed up to him after training. He said, ‘They only offered a loan deal, and you’re too important for us. They want to give us £800,000, but what if Reina gets an injury? I can’t put £800,000 in a suitcase and put it between the goalposts.’

"Then I had this crazy thought – ‘I think I’ll just punch him in the face’. This evil whisper in my head was telling me that if I hit Rafa, they’d let me go to Köln."

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