After taking the ball at the feet of FC Barcelona’s Spain World Cup-winning winger PEDRO RODRIGUEZ (17), Israel international goalkeeper DUDU AOUATE of Real Mallorca protects his face with his paw at Camp Nou in the Catalonia region. (Reuters photo)
It was in large part on account of the work of Israel international goalkeeper DUDU AOUATE that the much-anticipated managerial debut of the renowned JOSE MOURINHO with Spanish giant Real Madrid ended with an anti-climatic result, at least as far as the capital city club with all its World Cup stars was concerned.
Aouate absorbed every last ball that Los Blancos put on target as modest Balearic Islands side Real Mallorca, despite being outshot heavily, held mighty Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the 2010-11 La Liga season in Spain.
A similar storyline developed this past weekend when Real Mallorca traveled to the Catalonia region on the Spanish mainland to face the other traditional, bona-fide La Liga heavyweight, FC Barcelona, at the famed Nou Camp stadium.
Israel international goalkeeper DUDU AOUATE, who joined Real Mallorca from Deportivo La Coruna in late December of 2008 in return for a transfer fee of 1.0 million Euros, exchanges pleasantries with FC Barcelona forward BOJAN KRKIC during the La Liga match at Camp Nou in the Catalonia region of Spain. (Reuters photo)
FC Barcelona, featuring plenty of World Cup stars of their own, for the most part, had their way throughout the match and fired no fewer than 27 shots at the Real Mallorca goal.
Argentina World Cup star LIONEL MESSI did score in the 21st minute to give the hosts the lead, but FC Barcelona, who had scored nine goals in five La Liga games coming into the match with Real Mallorca, would not put another ball into the net the rest of the way.
And, the visitors struck back shortly before halftime with a goal from 21-year-old striker EMILIO NSUE.
Meanwhile, ahead of his country’s critical qualifying match with Croatia for top of Group F in the European Championships, Aouate turned in another stand out effort (nine saves) between the sticks for Real Mallorca against a top-shelf European side in the 1-1 draw.