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Petr Čech

Petr Cech; an unforgettable goalkeeping great

22:25 EAT 15/01/2019
Petr Cech Arsenal 2018-19
He may have announced his retirement but there is good reason why Petr Cech won't be forgotten anytime soon

When Jose Mourinho gave Petr Cech his debut in Chelsea's 2004-2005 season, not many would have predicted that he would go on to make 494 appearances for the club-ranking him sixth in Chelsea's all-time record for most appearances.

And although Cech might have swapped Chelsea for Arsenal, it will be no doubt that fans of the Blues will be feeling the full effects of the goalkeeper's departure from the beautiful game after he announced his retirement. And why won't they be; after all this was a player who became a pillar in setting Chelsea on the path of being a powerhouse club both domestically and on the European front after the club became nouveau riche following its acquisition by Roman Abramovich.

With the West London club, he won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League. It goes without saying that he played a vital role in all of these victories especially in Chelsea's Champions League triumph in 2012 and remain its only one to date.

In the final against European heavyweight Bayern Munich; who were playing in their own stadium, the Czech international put in a performance for the ages as he kept Bayern's talented attackers at bay. He even saved a penalty from Arjen Robben to force the tie to go to penalties which allowed Didier Drogba to score the winning penalty kick and have Chelsea's name engraved on the famous trophy for the first time.

In 2015 the shot-stopper signed for Arsenal, and although many noted how he was past his prime, he still managed to add a FA Cup victory to his trophy haul while on the international front, he won 124 caps for the Czech Republic and captained them on numerous outings. Significantly, Cech belongs to a breed of rare goalkeepers who transcended their roles and provided their teams with leadership and guidance; Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas belong to this group- the last of Mohicans.

It has been a whirlwind rollercoaster of a career for the boy from the Czech Republic, however, Cech can be assured that his place in the pantheon of goalkeeping greats is cemented. He will probably be remembered as one of the greatest footballers produced by the Czech Republic alongside the likes of Pavel Nedved and Karel Poborský. But then again, when you have been playing with an iconic headgear for more than a decade, its hardly likely people will forget you.