Come the end of the 2018-19 Premier League season, goalkeeping legend Petr Cech will call it a career… and what a career it was. Well known because of his protective head gear he wears for every match after suffering a brutal skull injury early on in his EPL career, he has provided football fans much more to remember him by. Spending time with Blsany and Sparta Prague in his homeland earned him a move to France with Rennes in 2002.
3 promising years there saw him get his big break, a $9 move to Chelsea in 2004. At this point, owner Roman Abramovich had recently just purchased the club and provided the Blues with a heavy influx of money. Cech was one of the first few key members of a new heavy spending Chelsea team.
With Chelsea, Cech became the player growing a legacy, much like the club itself at the time. As Chelsea began to battle with the English top flight’s supreme competition, Chelsea soon started to become a dominant force in England. The Czech international managed 333 PL appearances with the Blues and recorded a staggering 162 clean sheets. A title winning season in 2004-05 with Chelsea saw Cech break a record with 24 clean sheets in the league… a feat that never be broken.
His all time Chelsea and career highlight will always go down to THAT night in Munich when Cech saved a penalty against Arjen Robben in the UEFA Champions League final that was crucial for Chelsea to take the game into penalties and ultimately win it via a Didier Drogba equalizer and winning penalty.
After controversially losing his place to Thibaut Courtois upon return of his 3 year loan spell at Atletico Madrid, Cech experienced his first year as a bench player. That 2014-15 season, Cech only recorded 7 appearances as Chelsea again marched on to win the league title. Knowing his starting role was completely usurped by the imposing Belgian, Cech sealed a move to bitter London rivals Arsenal in a $13 million move. This disappointed many fans but it was a respected move given the nature of it and the respect for such a club legend.
While less successful in his stint with Arsenal, Cech gave stability to a tense goalkeeping situation. A falling out with previous starter Wojciech Szczesny following his smoking incident after a battering loss to Southampton made way for Cech to become the out and out started over the No. 2 David Ospina.
He was an instant hit for the Gunners and went on to record 50 clean sheets in 129 in just appearances. With just 1 FA Cup and 2 Community Shields (one against Chelsea) to show during his stint with Arsenal, his individual statistics are much more impressive. He is regarded as an all-time legend of those to don the Chelsea badge and a sturdy and capable man who gave stability to a club for Arsenal. With 443 appearances, 202 clean sheets and 1006 saves (75% save percentage), Cech will always be regarded as one of the very best to grace the Premier League
A list of Cech’s honors:
4X Premier League
1 Champions League
4 FA Cups
3 League Cups
2 Community Shields
1 Europa League
1 FA Cup
2 Community Shield
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer