NBA star Tomas Satoransky has heaped praise on Petr Cech, labelling the Arsenal veteran as “one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of football”.
Cech announced this week that he would be retiring from the sport at the end of the current season after a glorious 20-year career during which he shone for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and the Czech Republic.
And Washington Wizards point guard Satoransky – who is in England for the NBA London Game 2019 against the New York Knicks – has hailed his Czech countryman.
“It’s sad for football that he is retiring,” Satoransky told Goal. “It’s sad for football in our country [Czech Republic] and in general. He has had such a big influence on all goalkeepers around the world.
“He was one of the best, for sure, when he was at Chelsea.
“I’m not saying it just because I am from his country but just the way he played at Chelsea and the way he was dominating the game over many years.
“He has played at a high level for a lot of years. I think he is one of the greatest in history.”
Satoransky, 27, is a big football fan and revealed that Cech was his footballing idol when he was growing up.
He explained how the Arsenal goalkeeper, who picked up four Premier League titles and won an incredible 124 caps for his country, is an icon in his homeland.
“It’s sad for us Czechs,” Satoransky continued. “There is a lot of people in the Czech Republic who look up to him and I was one of them.
“Not just his soccer, obviously everyone knows his skills - he has the most clean sheets in Premier League history.
“But he was so smart, too. Just the way he talked, the way he handled the media. I was always so amazed how he was outside with the media. I think he has been a great role model for everyone.”
The game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks will take place at The 02 in London on Thursday evening.