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Petr Cech: A Legend Born And Bred In London

The 36-year-old custodian has been associated with two of the biggest rivals in English football, in the form of Chelsea and Arsenal. Petr Cech steps out for one last time on the pitch on 31st May 2019 in the final of the Europa League.

Last updated: 20.05.2019
Petr Cech | Sports Social Blog

Football is not only a game for the goalscorers, but also for the ones who are standing beneath the crossbar to keep their side out of harm’s way, i.e., the goalkeepers. One such player is Petr Cech, who has been a legend of the game, especially when it comes to the scenario of English football, for the last decade or so.

The 36 year old custodian has been associated with two of the biggest rivals in English football, in the form of Chelsea and Arsenal. While the west London club witnessed the Petr Cech at the prime of his career, the north London club experienced his guile and are privileged to be the podium for the retirement, as he steps out for one last time on the pitch on 31st May 2019 in the final of the Europa League, 11 days after his 36th birthday on the 20th of May.

The former Czech Republic international started his career playing for local club FK Chmel Blšany in 1999 before he went onto join the big name outfit Sparta Prague in 2001. He established himself as a first team regular and had a great first season with 903 minutes of not conceding a goal. His skills quickly caught the eyes of a number of European clubs and French outfit Rennes introduced him to Ligue 1 in 2002.

In 2004, Cech was signed by Roman Abrahamovich’s Chelsea for a fee of £7 million, the then record amount paid for a goalkeeper. What followed next was one of the glorious chapters in the history of English as well as European football. Petr Cech made as many as 494 senior appearances for the west London club, which is a record for any foreign player plying his trade for Chelsea so far. He won a number of accolades for his side in the form of four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Europa League title, and one UEFA Champions League title while playing for Chelsea.

Speaking about his goalkeeping skills, at the prime of his career, he was often compared with the other greats of the game like Iker Casillas, with whom he shares his birthdate as well and the Italian maestro Gianluigi Buffon. Playing for Chelsea, Cech kept 228 clean sheets, which still stands as an all-time record at Stamford Bridge. The big Czech Republican, however, had to take a backseat in the 2014/15 season after Thibaut Courtois was brought into the side and decided to make a move out of the club to join Chelsea’s rivals from north London, Arsenal. He has won the FA Cup once in the 2016/17 season and the FA Community Shield twice in 2015 and 2017 with the Gunners so far during his stay at the Emirates Stadium.

While playing for the Blues, Cech endured a career as well as life-threatening injury when he was hit accidentally on the head by midfielder Stephen Hunt inside Chelsea’s penalty area by the latter’s right knee. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and had to undergo a surgery for a depressed skull fracture. Then on, the custodian was seen wearing his famous head gear, which he will don for the last time in the final of the Europa League for Arsenal against his former club Chelsea.

On the international scenario, Cech has also been a true legend for his country. Representing Czech Republic in the international arena for a record 124 times, the Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper contributed to their glory with a number of clean sheets.

Apart from being a brilliant goalkeeper, the 36 year old has been a true leader for both Chelsea and Arsenal. He has witnessed a number of highs and lows in his career so far and is considered as one of the legends of the game as well. On this day, we wish him a very happy birthday and hope that he continues to have a successful life ahead after he hangs his gloves at the end of this season. Thank you Petr Cech, the proverbial son of London and one of the greatest players to grace the game with his sheer presence.

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