Awat thwarts Mourinho

By Simon Griver, August 31, 2010
Dudu Awat

Dudu Awat

Real Mallorca goalkeeper Dudu Awat frustrated Real Madrid’s new manager Jose Mourinho with a string of fine saves on the opening day of La Liga as the Islanders forced a goalless draw.

The Israeli stopper denied Madrid’s top-scorer last season Gonzalo Higuain on three occasions as Mallorca, who have been banned from the Europa League because they are close to bankruptcy, matched the billionaires from Bernabeu.

Awat, 32, is now in his eighth season in La Liga having joined Racing Santander from Maccabi Haifa before moving on to Deportivo La Coruna and Mallorca who finished fifth last season.

He said: “It was a great feeling to keep a clean sheet against Real Madrid. We had a lot of financial problems in the summer and many players left so this is very encouraging.”

Awat played much of the game against Real Madrid with a bandage around his head and required seven stitches after being accidentally kicked by Higuain. However, the keeper expected to be fit for Israel's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Malta and Georgia.

He said: "Euro 2012 is much more important to me than La Liga. If I was offered a contract by Real Madrid, or the chance to reach the Euro 2012 finals I'd choose the Euro 2012 finals. That's my biggest dream.”

Last updated: 10:33am, August 31 2010