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Miles Starforth's pre-season tour diary: Why Martin Dubravka owes Newcastle team-mate Joselu a dinner

Martin Dubravka.
Martin Dubravka.

Glenn Roeder never liked to see his players swapping shirts.

I can’t remember why, but he just didn’t agree with it.

But Rafa Benitez doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

And Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka proudly left the Estadio do Dragao clutching the jersey of Iker Casillas, one of his footballing idols.

Dubravka got Casillas’ shirt shirt after Saturday’s goalless draw against Porto – thanks to team-mate Joselu. Why? Because Joselu played with Casillas at Real Madrid.

It was a “special night” for Dubravka, who joined United on a permanent deal in the summer.

Miles Away From Home.

Miles Away From Home.

“I was a little bit shocked to see him standing in front of me,” said Dubravka, who made a series of saves at the Estadio do Dragao to keep United in the game.

“I got his picture, so, for me, it was a special night.

“I was really happy that I was able to speak with him and he gave me his jersey.

“I asked Joselu, because he used to play with him at Real Madrid, so he arranged it for me. I’m really happy about that.”

Dubravka intends to say thank you to Joselu.

“I’ll have to invite him to dinner to say thank you,” said the 29-year-old, who joined Newcastle on a permanent deal this summer.

“I will be getting it framed and put it in my house.”

United have been linked with 37-year-old Casillas a few times over the past couple of years, but it’s hard to think of too many goalkeepers who would have done better than Dubravka last season.