Petr Cech has remained one of the best goalkeepers in world football throughout his entire career, and this is still the case despite the 33 year old losing his starting place to the highly talented Thibaut Courtois last season. Cech has now made a high profile switch to London rivals Arsenal in a quest for first-team football, and he will no doubt continue to impress and could prove to be a pivotal player for the Gunners next season as they look to challenge for the title. Chelsea could therefore rue the day that they sold a player of his talent to their fierce rivals.
The 6’5 keeper from Czechoslovakia has had a long and fascinating career, playing for Chmel Blsany, Sparta Prague and Rennes before joining Chelsea in 2004. Here he has gone on to have a remarkable career between the sticks and he has been a key figure in helping to transform them into 1 of the top teams in Europe. The Blues will be sad to see a club legend who is 6th on their all-time appearances list leave, and particularly to a rival, but Cech still has a chapter of his career to finish and will surely walk away from the game as 1 of the all-time great goalkeepers.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the man behind the mask, Petr Cech.
10.) He is a triplet
Petr Cech was born on the 20th of May, 1982 at Plzen, Czechoslovakia. He was born a triplet along with his brother Michal and his sister Sarka, but sadly his brother would die at 2 years old after contracting an infection from hospital. Due to the fact that Cech is a triplet, it means that his skull is slightly thinner than the average persons and it may have contributed to the severity of the head injury he suffered in 2006. It is also part of the reason why he now wears his famous head mask, but despite this he bravely carries on playing and will not hesitate to put his body on the line.
9.) He married in 2003 and has a son and a daughter
Cech has gone from growing up under communism in his home country to becoming a world famous professional footballer. He is also now a family man and his children will have a much different upbringing to him being raised in Surrey. Cech married Martina Dolejsova (also of Czech nationality) in 2003, and they now have a son and daughter together. Daughter Adela was born in 2008, whilst their son Damian was born in 2009 and they were both born in Petr and Martina’s home country.
8.) He is a keen drummer
You do not have to watch Petr Cech in-between the sticks for very long to realise that he is certainly a talented individual. His talents do not stop here however, as in addition to being 1 of the best goalkeepers of his generation; Cech is also a talented drummer. He has a YouTube channel which he regularly posts drum covers on, including “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters and “Magnificent” by U2. Now that he has joined Arsenal, they could perhaps start their own team band with Oxlade-Chamberlain also a keen drummer and Alexis Sanchez a talented piano player.
7.) He can speak several different languages
As well as being a highly talented goalkeeper and keen drummer, Cech can also speak in several different languages. The exact number is not entirely clear, but in addition to his native Czech it is thought to include English, French, German, Slovakian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. Not only is this incredibly impressive, it is also particularly valuable for a modern day footballer. Clubs like Chelsea (and Arsenal) have players and staff from many different areas of the world, and this makes communication much, much easier both on the pitch as well as in the dressing room.
6.) He nearly moved to Arsenal in 2002
Petr Cech has just secured a move to Arsenal for a fee of £10 million. This is due to Cech losing on his starting spot to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea, and it is certainly a good bit of business by Arsenal who have lacked a high quality keeper for many years. It is not the first time that Cech was on the brink of joining the North London side however, as he almost signed for them in 2002 from Sparta thanks to his impressive international performances. The deal fell through due to work permit difficulties, and he instead joined Rennes. It is interesting to think how different things would be for both clubs had he joined the Gunners in the early stages of his career.
5.) He won the Champions League Best Goalkeeper 3 times
It is not just in the Premier League where Cech has excelled, he has also proven his abilities in the biggest club competition in the world. The Champions League sees the top teams in Europe battle it out each year, and this means that this is a competition where all the best goalkeepers in the world play. Cech won the best goalkeeper of the competition 3 times (2005, 2007 & 2008), with the awards being stopped after the 2008/09 season. Had the awards continued, he surely would have added another to his tally after his heroics in 2011/12 when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties where he saved 2 efforts (as well as 1 in extra time).
4.) He holds the Premier League record for fewest appearances to reach 100 clean sheets
It is no secret that Cech has been 1 of the top keepers in the Premier League since arriving in 2004. He is an intelligent keeper who rarely makes mistakes, and he is also an excellent shot stopper and will put his body on the line for his team. He holds the Premier League record for fewest appearances to reach 100 clean sheets, achieving this in just 180 league appearances. Having a strong back 4 in front of you also helps, but it is certainly an impressive feat and 1 which will take some beating.
3.) He suffered a life threatening injury in 2006
Whilst Cech is famous for his remarkable ability and the records and honours he has won over his career, he is also famous for suffering a life threatening injury back in 2006. In a game against Reading in October, he collided with Reading’s Stephen Hunt in the 1st minute of the game. Hunt’s knee crashed into Cech’s skull, causing the keeper to remain motionless and it quickly became apparent that it was a very serious injury. Cech would require emergency brain surgery after it was discovered that he had suffered a depressed skull fracture. Cech would return to football 3 months later and has since worn the famous head guard to offer protection to his skill which is already thinner than the average persons. This life threatening injury has not impacted his play, but it has helped to change the approach to head injuries sustained on the pitch.
2.) He set a Premier League record for minutes without letting in a goal in 2005
Between the 12th of December 2004 and the 5th of March 2005, Petr Cech cemented himself as 1 of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history by not letting in a single league goal in this period. This was a staggering 1,025 minutes of play and is a perfect example of the huge force that Cech is in-between the posts. Cech would win the Golden Glove at the end of the season after keeping a record 21 clean sheets that season, and Chelsea would also only concede 15 league goals that season. Cech’s whopping 1,025 minutes without conceding has since been topped by Edwin van der Sar.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech won four Premier League titles with Chelsea (Source: Getty)
1.) He has won 13 trophies with Chelsea
Petr Cech is somewhat of a legend at Stamford Bridge, and his consistency and reliability in between the posts has helped turn Chelsea into 1 of the top teams in Europe. Since joining in 2004, Cech has won a whopping 13 trophies during his time at Chelsea. This includes 4 Premier League titles, 4 F.A Cups, 3 Football League Cups, 1 Europa League and 1 Champions League trophy. Although he has lost his starting spot, he will be sorely missed around Stamford Bridge and it marks the end of an era.